TLX1 and NOTCH coregulate transcription in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells
The homeobox gene TLX1 (for T-cell leukemia homeobox 1, previously known as HOX11) is inappropriately expressed in a major subgroup of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) where it is strongly associated with activating NOTCH1 mutations. Despite the recognition that these genetic lesions cooperate in leukemogenesis, there have been no mechanistic studies addressing how TLX1 and NOTCH1 functionally interact to promote the leukemic phenotype. Global gene expression profiling after downregulation of TLX1 and inhibition of the NOTCH pathway in ALL-SIL cells revealed that TLX1 synergistically regulated more than 60% of the NOTCH-responsive genes. Structure-function analysis demonstrated that TLX1 binding to Groucho-related TLE corepressors was necessary for maximal transcriptional regulation of the NOTCH-responsive genes tested, implicating TLX1 modulation of the NOTCH-TLE regulatory network. Comparison of the dataset to publicly available biological databases indicated that the TLX1/NOTCH-coregulated genes are frequently targeted by MYC. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments confirmed that MYC was an essential mediator of TLX1/NOTCH transcriptional output and growth promotion in ALL-SIL cells, with TLX1 contributing to the NOTCH-MYC regulatory axis by posttranscriptional enhancement of MYC protein levels. Functional classification of the TLX1/NOTCH-coregulated targets also showed enrichment for genes associated with other human cancers as well as those involved in developmental processes. In particular, we found that TLX1, NOTCH and MYC coregulate CD1B and RAG1, characteristic markers of early cortical thymocytes, and that concerted downregulation of the TLX1 and NOTCH pathways resulted in their irreversible repression. We found that TLX1 and NOTCH synergistically regulate transcription in T-ALL, at least in part via the sharing of a TLE corepressor and by augmenting expression of MYC. We conclude that the TLX1/NOTCH/MYC network is a central determinant promoting the growth and survival of TLX1+ T-ALL cells. In addition, the TLX1/NOTCH/MYC transcriptional network coregulates genes involved in T cell development, such as CD1 and RAG family members, and therefore may prescribe the early cortical stage of differentiation arrest characteristic of the TLX1 subgroup of T-ALL.
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[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term opioid treatment results in reduced therapeutic efficacy and in turn leads to an increase in the dose required to produce equivalent pain relief and alleviate break-through or insurmountable pain. Altered gene expression is a likely means for inducing long-term neuroadaptations responsible for tolerance. Studies conducted by our laboratory (Tapocik et al., 2009) revealed a network of gene expression changes occurring in canonical pathways involved in neuroplasticity, and uncovered miRNA processing as a potential mechanism. In particular, the mRNA coding the protein responsible for processing miRNAs, Dicer1, was positively correlated with the development of analgesic tolerance. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that miRNAs play a significant role in the development of analgesic tolerance as measured by thermal nociception. Dicer1 knockdown, miRNA profiling, bioinformatics, and confirmation of high value targets were used to test the proposition. Regionally targeted Dicer1 knockdown (via shRNA) had the anticipated consequence of eliminating the development of tolerance in C57BL/6J (B6) mice, thus supporting the involvement of miRNAs in the development of tolerance. MiRNA expression profiling identified a core set of chronic morphine-regulated miRNAs (miR's 27a, 9, 483, 505, 146b, 202). Bioinformatics approaches were implemented to identify and prioritize their predicted target mRNAs. We focused our attention on miR27a and its predicted target serpin peptidase inhibitor clade I (Serpini1) mRNA, a transcript known to be intricately involved in dendritic spine density regulation in a manner consistent with chronic morphine's consequences and previously found to be correlated with the development of analgesic tolerance. In vitro reporter assay confirmed the targeting of the Serpini1 3′-untranslated region by miR27a. Interestingly miR27a was found to positively regulate Serpini1 mRNA and protein levels in multiple neuronal cell lines. Lastly, Serpini1 knockout mice developed analgesic tolerance at a slower rate than wild-type mice thus confirming a role for the protein in analgesic tolerance. Overall, these results provide evidence to support a specific role for miR27a and Serpini1 in the behavioral response to chronic opioid administration (COA) and suggest that miRNA expression and mRNA targeting may underlie the neuroadaptations that mediate tolerance to the analgesic effects of morphine.
- "Consequently, the effects of Dicer1 knockdown on analgesic tolerance were investigated. Lentiviral production and shRNA vector construction were performed as previously described (Riz et al., 2010) with the following modifications. shRNA design was accomplished using a selection program available at http://jura.wi.mit.edu/bioc/siRNAext/. "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute leukemia often presents with pure chromosomal resolution; thus, aberrations may not be detected by banding cytogenetics. Here, a case of 26-year-old male diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and a normal karyotype after standard GTG-banding was studied retrospectively in detail by molecular cytogenetic and molecular approaches. Besides fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and high resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) were applied. Thus, cryptic chromosomal aberrations not observed before were detected: three chromosomes were involved in a cytogenetically balanced occurring translocation t(2;9;18)(p23.2;p21.3;q21.33). Besides a translocation t(10;14)(q24;q11) was identified, an aberration known to be common in T-ALL. Due to the three-way translocation deletion of tumor suppressor genes CDKN2A/INK4A/p16, CDKN2B/INK4B/p15, and MTAP/ARF/p14 in 9p21.3 took place. Additionally RB1 in 13q14 was deleted. This patient, considered to have a normal karyotype after low resolution banding cytogenetics, was treated according to general protocol of anticancer therapy (ALL-BFM 95).
- "In the present case, an additional chromosomal translocation t(10;14)(q24;q11), known as sole abnormality in 10% of T-ALL patients, was identified. Also it is present in 5% of pediatric and 30% of adult T-ALL [20, 30, 31]. The TLX1 gene at 10q24 is a transcription factor becoming overexpressed as oncogene due to its juxtaposition to a strong promoter and enhancer elements of the TCR loci at 14q11 [ to be associated with the t(10;14) or TLX1 gene overexpression [5, 20, 35]. "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Inappropriate activation of the TLX1 (T-cell leukemia homeobox 1) gene by chromosomal translocation is a recurrent event in human T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL). Ectopic expression of TLX1 in murine bone marrow progenitor cells using a conventional retroviral vector efficiently yields immortalized cell lines and induces T-ALL-like tumors in mice after long latency. Methods: To eliminate a potential contribution of retroviral insertional mutagenesis to TLX1 immortalizing and transforming function, we incorporated the TLX1 gene into an insulated self-inactivating retroviral vector. Results: Retrovirally transduced TLX1-expressing murine bone marrow progenitor cells had a growth/survival advantage and readily gave rise to immortalized cell lines. Extensive characterization of 15 newly established cell lines failed to reveal a common retroviral integration site. This comprehensive analysis greatly extends our previous study involving a limited number of cell lines, providing additional support for the view that constitutive TLX1 expression is sufficient to initiate the series of events culminating in hematopoietic progenitor cell immortalization. When TLX1-immortalized cells were co-cultured on OP9-DL1 monolayers under conditions permissive for T-cell differentiation, a latent T-lineage potential was revealed. However, the cells were unable to transit the DN2 myeloid-T (DN2mt)-DN2 T-lineage determined (DN2t) commitment step. The differentiation block coincided with failure to upregulate the zinc finger transcription factor gene Bcl11b, the human ortholog of which was shown to be a direct transcriptional target of TLX1 downregulated in the TLX1(+) T-ALL cell line ALL-SIL. Other studies have described the ability of TLX1 to promote bypass of mitotic checkpoint arrest, leading to aneuploidy. We likewise found that diploid TLX1-expressing DN2mt cells treated with the mitotic inhibitor paclitaxel bypassed the mitotic checkpoint and displayed chromosomal instability. This was associated with elevated expression of TLX1 transcriptional targets involved in DNA replication and mitosis, including Ccna2 (cyclin A2), Ccnb1 (cyclin B1), Ccnb2 (cyclin B2) and Top2a (topoisomerase IIα). Notably, enforced expression of BCL11B in ALL-SIL T-ALL cells conferred resistance to the topoisomerase IIα poison etoposide. Conclusion: Taken together with previous findings, the data reinforce a mechanism of TLX1 oncogenic activity linked to chromosomal instability resulting from dysregulated expression of target genes involved in mitotic processes. We speculate that repression of BCL11B expression may provide part of the explanation for the observation that aneuploid DNA content in TLX1(+) leukemic T cells does not necessarily portend an unfavorable prognosis. This TLX1 hematopoietic progenitor cell immortalization/T-cell differentiation assay should help further our understanding of the mechanisms of TLX1-mediated evolution to malignancy and has the potential to be a useful predictor of disease response to novel therapeutic agents in TLX1(+) T-ALL.
- "Silencing of the Eα enhancer in TLX1 + T-ALL cells was associated with increased concentration of H3K27me3, a marker of repressive chromatin, across the TCRα locus . Along these lines, we found that TLX1 interacts with Gro/TLE corepressors  and that shRNAmediated knockdown of TLE transcripts in ALL-SIL cells also released the DP differentiation block . As Gro/TLE corepressors facilitate transcriptional silencing via a mechanism that involves in H3K27 methylation , it is tempting to speculate that TLX1 recruitment of Gro/TLE family members to the Eα enhancer also contributes to the early cortical DP differentiation block in TLX1 + T-ALL cases. "