[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosomal translocations involving the MALT1 gene are hallmarks of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. To date, targeting these translocations to mouse B cells has failed to reproduce human disease. Here, we induced MALT1 expression in mouse Sca1(+)Lin(-) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, which showed NF-κB activation and early lymphoid priming, being selectively skewed toward B-cell differentiation. These cells accumulated in extranodal tissues and gave rise to clonal tumors recapitulating the principal clinical, biological, and molecular genetic features of MALT lymphoma. Deletion of p53 gene accelerated tumor onset and induced transformation of MALT lymphoma to activated B-cell diffuse large-cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL). Treatment of MALT1-induced lymphomas with a specific inhibitor of MALT1 proteolytic activity decreased cell viability, indicating that endogenous Malt1 signaling was required for tumor cell survival. Our study shows that human-like lymphomas can be modeled in mice by targeting MALT1 expression to hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, demonstrating the oncogenic role of MALT1 in lymphomagenesis. Furthermore, this work establishes a molecular link between MALT lymphoma and ABC-DLBCL, and provides mouse models to test MALT1 inhibitors. Finally, our results suggest that hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of human mature B-cell lymphomas.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2012; 109(26):10534-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The telomerase protein is constitutively activated in malignant cells from many patients with cancer, including the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), but whether telomerase is essential for the pathogenesis of this disease is not known. Here, we used telomerase deficient mice to determine the requirement for telomerase in CML induced by BCR-ABL in mouse models of CML. Loss of one telomerase allele or complete deletion of telomerase prevented the development of leukemia induced by BCR-ABL. However, BCR-ABL was expressed and active in telomerase heterozygous and null leukemic hematopoietic stem cells. These results demonstrate that telomerase is essential for oncogene-induced reprogramming of hematopoietic stem cells in CML development and validate telomerase and the genes it regulates as targets for therapy in CML.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer is the subject of intense research around the world, but many questions about how the disease works remain unanswered. How exactly does cancer start and how do tumours grow? In fact, at present there are ten times more anticancer drugs being tested in clinical trials than there were 15 years ago. However, many of the new anticancer agents are predicted to show clinical benefit in only small subpopulations of patients. The cancer stem cell model could explain not only how some cancers work but also why patients suffer relapses, providing a good opportunity to gain insight into the reasons why agents work or, more commonly, don't work, before going into a clinical trial.
Histology and histopathology 02/2012; 27(2):157-70. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The latest scientific findings in the field of cancer research are redefining our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, moving the emphasis toward the study of the mechanisms underlying the alteration of the normal processes of cellular differentiation. The concepts best exemplifying this new vision are those of cancer stem cells and tumoral reprogramming. The study of the biology of acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) has provided seminal experimental evidence supporting these new points of view. Furthermore, in the case of B cells, it has been shown that all the stages of their normal development show a tremendous degree of plasticity, allowing them to be reprogrammed to other cellular types, either normal or leukemic. Here we revise the most recent discoveries in the fields of B-cell developmental plasticity and B-ALL research and discuss their interrelationships and their implications for our understanding of the biology of the disease.