Alexey Efanov

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States

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Publications (11)95.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a neoplasia of thymocytes characterized by the rapid accumulation of the precursors of T lymphocytes. HMGA2 (high-mobility group AT-hook 2) gene expression is extremely low in normal adult tissues, but it is overexpressed in many tumors. To identify the biological function of HMGA2, we generated transgenic mice carrying the human HMGA2 gene under control of the VH promoter/Eμ enhancer. Approximately 90% of Eμ-HMGA2 transgenic mice became visibly sick between 4 and 8 months due to the onset and progression of a T-ALL-like disease. Characteristic features included severe alopecia (30% of mice); enlarged lymph nodes and spleen; and profound immunological abnormalities (altered cytokine levels, hypoimmunoglobulinemia) leading to reduced immune responsiveness. Immunophenotyping showed accumulation of CD5+CD4+, CD5+CD8+ or CD5+CD8+CD4+ T-cell populations in the spleens and bone marrow of sick animals. These findings show that HMGA2-driven leukemia in mice closely resembles spontaneous human T-ALL, indicating that HMGA2 transgenic mice should serve as an important model for investigating basic mechanisms and potential new therapies of relevance to human T-ALL.
    Blood Cancer Journal 01/2014; 4:e227. · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: T cell leukemia/ lymphoma 1 (TCL1) is an oncogene over-expressed in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) and in B-cell malignancies including B-CLL and lymphomas. To date, only a limited number of Tcl1 interacting proteins that regulate its oncogenic function have been identified. Prior studies utilized a proteomic approach to identify a novel interaction between Tcl1 with Atm (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated). The association of Tcl1 and Atm leads to activation of the NF-κB pathway. Here, we demonstrate that Tcl1 also interacts with Hsp70. The Tcl1-Hsp70 complex was validated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Also, we report that heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), which plays a critical role in the folding and maturation of several oncogenic proteins, associates with Tcl1 protein and stabilizes its expression. The inhibition of the ATPase activity of Hsp70 results in ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation of Tcl1. The inhibition of Hsp70 significantly reduced the growth of lymphoma xenografts in vivo and down-regulated the expression of Tcl1 protein. Our findings reveal a functional interaction between Tcl1 and Hsp70 and identify Tcl1 as a novel Hsp70 client protein. These findings suggest that inhibition of Hsp70 may represent an alternative effective therapy for CLL and lymphomas via its ability to inhibit the oncogenic functions of Tcl1.
    Blood 11/2012; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 (TCL1) oncogene is a target of chromosomal translocations and inversions at 14q31.2, and its rearrangement in T cells causes T-cell prolymphocytic leukemias. TCL1 dysregulation in B cells is responsible for the development of an aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common human leukemia. We have investigated the mechanisms underlying the oncogenic functions of Tcl1 protein using a mass spectrometry approach and have identified Atm (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) as a candidate Tcl1-interacting protein. The Tcl1-Atm complex formation was validated by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. Importantly, we show that the association of Atm with Tcl1 leads to enhanced IκBα phosphorylation and ubiquitination and subsequent activation of the NF-κB pathway. Our findings reveal functional cross-talk between Atm and Tcl1 and provide evidence for a novel pathway that could be targeted in leukemias and lymphomas.
    Blood 11/2011; 119(1):180-7. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), the most common leukemia in the Western world, occurs in two forms, aggressive (showing for the most part high ZAP-70 expression and unmutated IgH V(H)) and indolent (showing low ZAP-70 expression and mutated IgH V(H)). We found that miR-29a is up-regulated in indolent human B-CLL as compared with aggressive B-CLL and normal CD19(+) B cells. To study the role of miR-29 in B-CLL, we generated Emu-miR-29 transgenic mice overexpressing miR-29 in mouse B cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a markedly expanded CD5(+) population in the spleen of these mice starting at 2 mo of age, with 85% (34/40) of miR-29 transgenic mice exhibiting expanded CD5(+) B-cell populations, a characteristic of B-CLL. On average, 50% of B cells in these transgenic mice were CD5 positive. At 2 y of age the mice showed significantly enlarged spleens and an increase in the CD5(+) B-cell population to approximately 100%. Of 20 Emu-miR-29 transgenic mice followed to 24-26 mo of age, 4 (20%) developed frank leukemia and died of the disease. These results suggest that dysregulation of miR-29 can contribute to the pathogenesis of indolent B-CLL.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2010; 107(27):12210-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common human leukemia. 13q14 deletions are most common chromosomal alterations in CLL. We previously reported that miR-15/16 is a target of 13q14 deletions and plays a tumor suppressor role by targeting BCL2. Because DLEU7 is located near miR-15/16 and is also positioned within a minimal deleted region, we investigated whether DLEU7 could also play a tumor suppressor role. Recent studies of transgenic mouse models demonstrated the importance of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway in CLL. To examine the possible role of DLEU7 in CLL, we investigated the effect of DLEU7 expression on NF-kappaB and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) activity. We found that DLEU7 functions as a potent NF-kappaB and NFAT inhibitor by physically interacting and inhibiting TACI and BCMA, members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family involved in B-CLL. In addition, DLEU7 expression in A549 lung cancer cells resulted in a decrease in S phase and increased apoptosis. The results suggest that loss of DLEU7 may cooperate with the loss of miR-15/16 in the pathogenesis of CLL.
    Blood 05/2010; 115(19):3916-22. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is the most common adult leukemia. Deregulation of the T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 (TCL1) oncogene in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to aggressive human B-CLLs. We recently reported that levels of TCL1 expression in B-CLL are regulated by miR-29 and miR-181 that target 3' UTR of TCL1. To determine whether treatment with microRNAs targeting TCL1 can inhibit B-CLL in mice, we generated TCL1 transgenic mice using a construct containing the 3' and 5' UTRs of TCL1 under B-cell-specific Emicro promoter (Emicro-TCL1FL). At the age of 16-20 months, these mice showed B-CLL-like disease. Immunophenotyping revealed accumulation of CD5+CD23+B220+ population in spleens and lymph nodes. Our results show that CD5+CD23+ B-cell populations from Emicro-TCL1FL mice actively proliferate and show significantly increased levels of phospho-Akt. Emicro-TCL1FL mice showed immunological abnormalities similar to human B-CLL, including hypoimmunoglobulinemia, abnormal levels of cytokines and impaired immune response. These findings revealed biochemical and immunological similarities between Tcl1-driven B-CLL in mice and human B-CLL.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 04/2010; 24(5):970-5. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is the most common human leukemia. Deregulation of the T cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 (TCL1) oncogene in mouse B cells causes a CD5-positive leukemia similar to aggressive human B-CLLs. To examine the mechanisms by which Tcl1 protein exerts oncogenic activity in B cells, we investigated the effect of Tcl1 expression on NF-kappaB and activator protein 1 (AP-1) activity. We found that Tcl1 physically interacts with c-Jun, JunB, and c-Fos and inhibits AP-1 transcriptional activity. Additionally, Tcl1 activates NF-kappaB by physically interacting with p300/CREB binding protein. We then sequenced the TCL1 gene in 600 B-CLL samples and found 2 heterozygous mutations: T38I and R52H. Importantly, both mutants showed gain of function as AP-1 inhibitors. The results indicate that Tcl1 overexpression causes B-CLL by directly enhancing NF-kappaB activity and inhibiting AP-1.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(50):19643-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is the most common human leukemia in the world. Deregulation of the TCL1 oncogene is a causal event in the pathogenesis of the aggressive form of this disease as was verified by using animal models. To study the mechanism of Tcl1 regulation in CLL, we carried out microRNA expression profiling of three types of CLL: indolent CLL, aggressive CLL, and aggressive CLL showing 11q deletion. We identified distinct microRNA signatures corresponding to each group of CLL. We further determined that Tcl1 expression is regulated by miR-29 and miR-181, two microRNAs differentially expressed in CLL. Expression levels of miR-29 and miR-181 generally inversely correlated with Tcl1 expression in the CLL samples we examined. Our results suggest that Tcl1 expression in CLL is, at least in part, regulated by miR-29 and miR-181 and that these microRNAs may be candidates for therapeutic agents in CLLs overexpressing Tcl1.
    Cancer Research 01/2007; 66(24):11590-3. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TAL1 oncogene encodes a helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Tal1, which is required for blood cell development, and its activation is a frequent event in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Tal1 interacts and inhibits other helix-loop-helix factors such as E47 and HEB. To investigate the function of Tal1 in B cells, we generated Emu-TAL1 transgenic mouse line, expressing Tal1 in mouse B-cell lineage. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of lymphocytes isolated from spleens of five out of five founders reveals complete absence of IgM- or CD19-expressing cells. Only 2% to 3% of these cells were B220+ and 100% of B220+ cells were CD43+, indicating that these mice were able to make pro-B cells. Similarly, FACS analysis of bone marrow cells in Emu-TAL1 mice revealed complete absence of B220+IgM+ and B220+CD19+ cells. Analysis of the recombination status of IgH genes revealed the presence of D-J but absence or drastic reduction of V-D-J rearrangements. Our results suggest that Tal1 overexpression in B cells results in a phenotype similar to that of B cells of E47/E2A knockout animals. This represents first in vivo evidence that Tal1 can completely inhibit E47/E2A function.
    Cancer Research 07/2006; 66(12):6014-7. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) is a tumor suppressor protein that interacts with eukaryotic initiation factor 4A and inhibits protein synthesis. Pdcd4 also suppresses the transactivation of activator protein-1 (AP-1)-responsive promoters by c-Jun. The Akt (protein kinase B) serine/threonine kinase is a key mediator of phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival, and growth. Because Pdcd4 has two putative Akt phosphorylation sites at Ser(67) and Ser(457), we investigated whether Akt phosphorylates and regulates Pdcd4. Our results show that Akt specifically phosphorylates Ser(67) and Ser(457) residues of Pdcd4 in vitro and in vivo. We further show that phosphorylation of Pdcd4 by Akt causes nuclear translocation of Pdcd4. Using luciferase assay, we show that phosphorylation of Pdcd4 by Akt also causes a significant decrease of the ability of Pdcd4 to interfere with the transactivation of AP-1-responsive promoter by c-Jun.
    Cancer Research 01/2006; 65(24):11282-6. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The helix-loop-helix transcription factor Tal1 is required for blood cell development and its activation is a frequent event in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The Akt (protein kinase B) kinase is a key player in transduction of antiapoptotic and proliferative signals in T cells. Because Tal1 has a putative Akt phosphorylation site at Thr90, we investigated whether Akt regulates Tal1. Our results show that Akt specifically phosphorylates Thr90 of the Tal1 protein within its transactivation domain in vitro and in vivo. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed the presence of Tal1 in Akt immune complexes, suggesting that Tal1 and Akt physically interact. We further showed that phosphorylation of Tal1 by Akt causes redistribution of Tal1 within the nucleus. Using luciferase assay, we showed that phosphorylation of Tal1 by Akt decreased repressor activity of Tal1 on EpB42 (P4.2) promoter. Thus, these data indicate that Akt interacts with Tal1 and regulates Tal1 by phosphorylation at Thr90 in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent manner.
    Cancer Research 07/2005; 65(11):4515-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

517 Citations
95.11 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • The Ohio State University
      • • Division of Hematology
      • • Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics
      • • The James Comprehensive Cancer Center
      Columbus, Ohio, United States