[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RAS signaling plays a key role in controlling appropriate cell responses to extracellular stimuli and participates in early and late developmental processes. Although enhanced flow through this pathway has been established as a major contributor to oncogenesis, recent discoveries have revealed that aberrant RAS activation causes a group of clinically related developmental disorders characterized by facial dysmorphism, a wide spectrum of cardiac disease, reduced growth, variable cognitive deficits, ectodermal and musculoskeletal anomalies, and increased risk for certain malignancies. Here, we report that heterozygous germline mutations in CBL, a tumor-suppressor gene that is mutated in myeloid malignancies and encodes a multivalent adaptor protein with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, can underlie a phenotype with clinical features fitting or partially overlapping Noonan syndrome (NS), the most common condition of this disease family. Independent CBL mutations were identified in two sporadic cases and two families from among 365 unrelated subjects who had NS or suggestive features and were negative for mutations in previously identified disease genes. Phenotypic heterogeneity and variable expressivity were documented. Mutations were missense changes altering evolutionarily conserved residues located in the RING finger domain or the linker connecting this domain to the N-terminal tyrosine kinase binding domain, a known mutational hot spot in myeloid malignancies. Mutations were shown to affect CBL-mediated receptor ubiquitylation and dysregulate signal flow through RAS. These findings document that germline mutations in CBL alter development to cause a clinically variable condition that resembles NS and that possibly predisposes to malignancies.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2010; 87(2):250-7. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysregulated generation and/or function of naturally occurring 'CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells' (T(reg)s) play key role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. Recent findings suggest that Notch3 signaling activation promotes thymic generation and peripheral expansion and in vivo function of naturally occurring T(reg)s, thus preventing autoimmune diabetes progression in mouse models. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects have remained elusive, thus far. Here, we show that the expression of pTalpha gene is up-regulated in naturally occurring T(reg)s, at both mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, by using double mutant mice, with T cell-targeted constitutive activation of Notch3 in a pTalpha(-/-) background, we demonstrate that pTalpha deletion significantly counteracts the Notch3-dependent expansion, the increased FoxP3 expression and the enhanced in vitro activity of naturally occurring T(reg)s. Notably, the absence of pTalpha also impairs the Notch3-dependent protection against experimentally induced autoimmune diabetes. Finally, by adoptive cell transfer experiments, we demonstrated that this failure is directly related to the impaired in vivo function of naturally occurring T(reg)s bearing pTalpha deletion. Collectively, our data suggest that pTalpha expression is required for the in vivo function of naturally occurring T(reg)s and that the activation of Notch3 signaling may positively regulate the function of this population, through the pTalpha/pre-T cell receptor pathway.
International Immunology 06/2009; 21(6):727-43. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein kinase (PK)C theta is a critical regulator of mature T-cell activation and proliferation, being implicated in TCR-triggered nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B activation and providing important survival signals to leukemic T cells. We previously showed that overexpression of pT alpha/pre-TCR and constitutive activation of NF-kappa B characterize the T-cell leukemia/lymphoma developing in Notch3-IC transgenic mice. We report here that PKC theta is a downstream target of Notch3 signaling and that its activation and membrane translocation require a functional pre-TCR in order to trigger NF-kappa B activation in thymocytes and lymphoma cells of transgenic mice. Furthermore, deletion of PKC theta in Notch3-IC transgenic mice reduces the incidence of leukemia, correlating with decreased NF-kappa B activation. This paper therefore suggests that PKC theta mediates the activation of NF-kappa B by pre-TCR in immature thymocytes and contributes to the development of Notch3-dependent T-cell lymphoma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch and basic helix-loop-helix E2A pathways specify cell fate and regulate neoplastic transformation in a variety of cell types. Whereas Notch enhances tumorigenesis, E2A suppresses it. However, whether and how Notch and E2A interact functionally in an integrative mechanism for regulating neoplastic transformation remains to be understood. It has been shown that Notch3-induced T-cell leukaemia is abrogated by the inactivation of pTalpha/pre-T-cell antigen receptor (pre-TCR). We report here that Notch3-induced transcriptional activation of pTalpha/pre-TCR is responsible for the downregulation of E2A DNA binding and transcriptional activity. Further, the E2A messenger RNA and protein levels remain unaltered but the E2A inhibitor Id1 expression is augmented in thymocytes and T lymphoma cells derived from Notch3 transgenic mice. The increase in Id1 expression is achieved by pre-TCR-induced extracellular-signalling-regulated kinase 1/2. These observations support a model in which the upregulation of pre-TCR signalling seems to be the prerequi-site for Notch3-induced inhibition of E2A, thus leading to the development of lymphoma in Notch3 transgenic mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymic-derived dysregulated tolerance has been suggested to occur in type 1 diabetes via impaired generation of CD4(+)CD25(+) T regulatory cells, leading to autoimmune beta cell destruction. In this study, we demonstrate that Notch3 expression is a characteristic feature of CD4(+)CD25(+) cells. Furthermore, streptozotocin-induced autoimmune diabetes fails to develop in transgenic mice carrying the constitutively active intracellular domain of Notch3 in thymocytes and T cells. The failure to develop the disease is associated with an increase of CD4(+)CD25(+) T regulatory cells, accumulating in lymphoid organs, in pancreas infiltrates and paralleled by increased expression of IL-4 and IL-10. Accordingly, CD4(+) T cells from Notch3-transgenic mice inhibit the development of hyperglycemia and insulitis when injected into streptozotocin-treated wild-type mice and display in vitro suppressive activity. These observations, therefore, suggest that Notch3-mediated events regulate the expansion and function of T regulatory cells, leading to protection from experimental autoimmune diabetes and identify the Notch pathway as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in type 1 diabetes.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2003; 171(9):4504-11. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch receptors are conserved regulators of cell fate and have been implicated in the regulation of T cell differentiation and lymphomagenesis. However, neither the generality of Notch involvement in leukemia, nor the molecules with which Notch may interact have been clarified. Recently, we showed that transgenic mice expressing the constitutively active intracellular domain of Notch3 in thymocytes and T cells developed early and aggressive T cell neoplasias. Although primarily splenic, the tumors sustained features of immature thymocytes, including expression of pTalpha, a defining component of the pre T cell receptor, known to be a potent signaling complex provoking thymocyte survival, proliferation, and activation. Thus, enforced expression of Notch3, which is ordinarily down-regulated as thymocytes mature, may sustain pre T cell receptor expression, causing dysregulated hyperplasia. This hypothesis has been successfully tested in this article by the observation that deletion of pTalpha in Notch3 transgenic mice abrogates tumor development, indicating a crucial role for pTalpha in T cell leukemogenesis. Parallel observations were made in humans, in that all T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias examined showed expression of Notch3 and of the Notch target gene HES-1, as well as of pTalpha a and b transcripts, whereas the expression of all these genes was dramatically reduced or absent in remission. Together, these results suggest that the combined expression of Notch3 and pTalpha sustains T cell leukemogenesis and may represent pathognomonic molecular features of human T-ALL.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2002; 99(6):3788-93. · 9.74 Impact Factor