An activating intragenic deletion in NOTCH1 in human T-ALL.
ABSTRACT Oncogenic activating mutations in NOTCH1 occur in more than 50% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). In the present study, we describe a novel mechanism of NOTCH1 activation in T-ALL in which a deletion removing the 5' portion of NOTCH1 abolishes the negative regulatory control of the extracellular domain and leads to constitutively active NOTCH1 signaling. Polypeptides translated from truncated transcripts encoded by the NOTCH1 deletion allele retain the transmembrane domain of the receptor and are constitutively cleaved by the γ-secretase complex, resulting in high levels of NOTCH1 signaling that can be effectively blocked by γ-secretase inhibitors. Our results expand the spectrum of oncogenic lesions activating NOTCH1 signaling in human T-ALL.
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ABSTRACT: Heterodimerization domain (HD) mutations in NOTCH1 induce ligand-independent activation of the receptor and contribute to the pathogenesis of one-third of human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). Here we report a novel class of activating mutations in NOTCH1 leading to aberrant activation of NOTCH1 signaling in T-cell lymphoblasts. These so-called juxtamembrane expansion (JME) alleles consist of internal duplication insertions in the vicinity of exon 28 of the NOTCH1 gene encoding the extracellular juxtamembrane region of the receptor. Notably, structure-function analysis of leukemia-derived and synthetic JME mutants demonstrated that the aberrant activation of NOTCH1 signaling is dependent on the number of residues introduced in the extracellular juxtamembrane region of the receptor and not on the specific amino acid sequence of these insertions. JME NOTCH1 mutants are effectively blocked by gamma-secretase inhibitors and require an intact metalloprotease cleavage site for activation. Overall, these results show a novel mechanism of NOTCH1 activation in T-ALL and provide further insight on the mechanisms that control the activation of NOTCH1 signaling.Blood 05/2008; 112(3):733-40. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Activating mutations in NOTCH1 are present in over 50% of human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) samples and inhibition of NOTCH1 signaling with gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSI) has emerged as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this disease. Here, we report a new human T-cell lymphoma line CUTLL1, which expresses high levels of activated NOTCH1 and is extremely sensitive to gamma-secretase inhibitors treatment. CUTLL1 cells harbor a t(7;9)(q34;q34) translocation which induces the expression of a TCRB-NOTCH1 fusion transcript encoding a membrane-bound truncated form of the NOTCH1 receptor. GSI treatment of CUTLL1 cells blocked NOTCH1 processing and caused rapid clearance of activated intracellular NOTCH1. Loss of NOTCH1 activity induced a gene expression signature characterized by the downregulation of NOTCH1 target genes such as HES1 and NOTCH3. In contrast with most human T-ALL cell lines with activating mutations in NOTCH1, CUTLL1 cells showed a robust cellular phenotype upon GSI treatment characterized by G1 cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis. These results show that the CUTLL1 cell line has a strong dependence on NOTCH1 signaling for proliferation and survival and supports that T-ALL patients whose tumors harbor t(7;9) should be included in clinical trials testing the therapeutic efficacy NOTCH1 inhibition with GSIs.Leukemia 08/2006; 20(7):1279-87. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The NOTCH1 receptor is cleaved within its extracellular domain by furin during its maturation, yielding two subunits that are held together noncovalently by a juxtamembrane heterodimerization (HD) domain. Normal NOTCH1 signaling is initiated by the binding of ligand to the extracellular subunit, which renders the transmembrane subunit susceptible to two successive cleavages within and C terminal to the heterodimerization domain, catalyzed by metalloproteases and gamma-secretase, respectively. Because mutations in the heterodimerization domain of NOTCH1 occur frequently in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), we assessed the effect of 16 putative tumor-associated mutations on Notch1 signaling and HD domain stability. We show here that 15 of the 16 mutations activate canonical NOTCH1 signaling. Increases in signaling occur in a ligand-independent fashion, require gamma-secretase activity, and correlate with an increased susceptibility to cleavage by metalloproteases. The activating mutations cause soluble NOTCH1 heterodimers to dissociate more readily, either under native conditions (n = 3) or in the presence of urea (n = 11). One mutation, an insertion of 14 residues immediately N terminal to the metalloprotease cleavage site, increases metalloprotease sensitivity more than all others, despite a negligible effect on heterodimer stability by comparison, suggesting that the insertion may expose the S2 site by repositioning it relative to protective NOTCH1 ectodomain residues. Together, these studies show that leukemia-associated HD domain mutations render NOTCH1 sensitive to ligand-independent proteolytic activation through two distinct mechanisms.Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/2006; 26(12):4642-51. · 5.37 Impact Factor