Cytogenetics and molecular genetics of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: from thymocyte to lymphoblast.
ABSTRACT For long, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) remained in the shadow of precursor B-ALL because it was more seldom, and showed a normal karyotype in more than 50% of cases. The last decennia, intense research has been carried out on different fronts. On one side, development of normal thymocyte and its regulation mechanisms have been studied in multiple mouse models and subsequently validated. On the other side, molecular cytogenetics (fluorescence in situ hybridization) and mutation analysis revealed cytogenetically cryptic aberrations in almost all cases of T-ALL. Also, expression microarray analysis disclosed gene expression signatures that recapitulate specific stages of thymocyte development. Investigations are still very much actual, fed by the discovery of new genetic aberrations. In this review, we present a summary of the current cytogenetic changes associated with T-ALL. The genes deregulated by translocations or mutations appear to encode proteins that are also implicated in T-cell development, which prompted us to review the 'normal' and 'leukemogenic' functions of these transcription regulators. To conclude, we show that the paradigm of multistep leukemogenesis is very much applicable to T-ALL and that the different genetic insults collaborate to maintain self-renewal capacity, and induce proliferation and differentiation arrest of T-lymphoblasts. They also open perspectives for targeted therapies.
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ABSTRACT: The most frequent oncogenic activation events characterized in childhood T acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) result in the transcriptional activation of genes coding for transcription factors. The main genes are TAL1/SCL, a member of the basic region helix-loop-helix gene family, and HOX11L2, a member of the homeobox-containing protein family. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of this type of hematologic malignancy, we analyzed 28 T-ALL samples. SIL-TAL1/SCL fusion was detected in 6 patients; expression of HOX11L2 was observed in 6 patients and of HOX11 in 3 patients. With one exception, these activations did not occur simultaneously in the same patients, and they allowed the subclassification of 50% of the patients. SIL-TAL1 fusion was detected in association with HOX11 expression in one patient and with a t(8;14) (q24;q11) in another. High expression of LYL1, LMO2, or TAL1 was observed mainly in samples negative for HOX11L2 expression. HOX11L1 and HOX11 expression were observed in one instance each, in the absence of detectable chromosomal abnormality of their respective loci, on chromosomes 2 and 10, respectively. HOX11L2 expression was associated with a chromosome 5q abnormality, the location of the HOX11L2 locus in each case tested. Finally, our data show that HOX11L2 expression was a suitable marker for minimal residual disease follow-up and was significantly associated with relapse (P =.02).Blood 09/2002; 100(3):991-7. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The c-Abl and Arg proteins comprise a unique family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases that have been implicated in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, cytoskeletal reorganization, cell migration, and the response to oxidative stress and DNA damage. Targeted deletion or mutation of c-Abl in mice results in a variety of immune system phenotypes, including splenic and thymic atrophy, lymphopenia, and an increased susceptibility to infection. However, despite the generation of these mice over a decade ago, little is known regarding the mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes or the immune-related consequences of ablation of both the c-Abl and Arg kinases, which are coexpressed in lymphoid tissues. Here, we report that T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation results in activation of the endogenous Abl kinases. We demonstrate that Zap70 and the transmembrane adaptor linker for activation of T cells (LAT) are targets of the Abl kinases, and that loss of Abl kinase activity reduces TCR-induced Zap70 phosphorylation at tyrosine 319. This correlates with diminished LAT tyrosine phosphorylation, as well as reduced tyrosine phosphorylation and recruitment of phospholipase Cgamma1 to LAT. Significantly, we show that Abl kinase activity is required for maximal signaling leading to transcription of the IL-2 promoter, as well as TCR-induced IL-2 production and proliferation of primary T cells. We conclude that the Abl kinases have a role in the regulation of TCR-mediated signal transduction leading to IL-2 production and cell proliferation.Current Biology 08/2004; 14(14):1222-31. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Protein tyrosine kinases have long been recognized as the most proximal actors in T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling. Three non-receptor tyrosine kinase families (Src, ZAP-70 and Tec) are known to be critical, but a new study now shows that room needs to be made in this pathway for yet another protein tyrosine kinase family - Abl/Arg.Current Biology 08/2004; 14(14):R562-4. · 9.49 Impact Factor