NPM-ALK (nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase) and TPM3-ALK (nonmuscular tropomyosin 3-anaplastic lymphoma kinase) are oncogenic tyrosine kinases implicated in the pathogenesis of human ALK-positive lymphoma. We report here the development of novel conditional mouse models for ALK-induced lymphomagenesis, with the use of the tetracycline regulatory system under the control of the EmuSRalpha enhancer/promoter. The expression of either oncogene resulted in the arrest of the differentiation of early B cells and lymphomagenesis. We also observed the development of skin keratoacanthoma lesions, probably because of aberrant ALK expression in keratinocytes. The inactivation of the ALK oncogene on doxycycline treatment was sufficient to induce sustained regression of both hematopoietic tumors and skin disease. Importantly, treatment with the specific ALK inhibitor (PF-2341066) also reversed the pathologic states, showing the value of these mouse models for the validation of ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Thus, our results show (1) that NPM-ALK and TPM3-ALK oncogenes are sufficient for lymphoma/leukemia development and required for tumor maintenance, hence validating ALK as potentially effective therapeutic target; and (2) for the first time, in vivo, the equal tumorigenic potential of the NPM-ALK and TPM3-ALK oncogenic tyrosine kinases. Our models offer a new tool to investigate in vivo the molecular mechanisms associated with ALK-induced lymphoproliferative disorders.
Blood 03/2010; 115(20):4061-70. DOI:10.1182/blood-2008-06-163386 · 9.78 Impact Factor