Article

Activated ALK Collaborates with MYCN in Neuroblastoma Pathogenesis

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Cancer cell (Impact Factor: 23.89). 03/2012; 21(3):362-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2012.02.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Amplification of the MYCN oncogene in childhood neuroblastoma is often accompanied by mutational activation of ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), suggesting their pathogenic cooperation. We generated a transgenic zebrafish model of neuroblastoma in which MYCN-induced tumors arise from a subpopulation of neuroblasts that migrate into the adrenal medulla analog following organogenesis. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN in this model triples the disease penetrance and markedly accelerates tumor onset. MYCN overexpression induces adrenal sympathetic neuroblast hyperplasia, blocks chromaffin cell differentiation, and ultimately triggers a developmentally-timed apoptotic response in the hyperplastic sympathoadrenal cells. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN provides prosurvival signals that block this apoptotic response and allow continued expansion and oncogenic transformation of hyperplastic neuroblasts, thus promoting progression to neuroblastoma.

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Available from: Jeffery L Kutok, Aug 17, 2015
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