[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of the c-Myc proto-oncoprotein is tightly regulated in normal cells. Phosphorylation at two conserved residues, threonine58 (T58) and serine62 (S62), regulates c-Myc protein stability. In cancer cells, c-Myc can become aberrantly stabilized associated with altered T58 and S62 phosphorylation. A complex signalling cascade involving GSK3beta kinase, the Pin1 prolyl isomerase, and the PP2A-B56alpha phosphatase controls phosphorylation at these sites. We report here a novel role for the tumour suppressor scaffold protein Axin1 in facilitating the formation of a degradation complex for c-Myc containing GSK3beta, Pin1, and PP2A-B56alpha. Although knockdown of Axin1 decreases the association of c-Myc with these proteins, reduces T58 and enhances S62 phosphorylation, and increases c-Myc stability, acute expression of Axin1 reduces c-Myc levels and suppresses c-Myc transcriptional activity. Moreover, the regulation of c-Myc by Axin1 is impaired in several tested cancer cell lines with known stabilization of c-Myc or loss of Axin1. This study provides critical insight into the regulation of c-Myc expression, how this can be disrupted in three cancer types, and adds to our knowledge of the tumour suppressor activity of Axin1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) can block NOTCH receptor signaling in vitro and therefore offer an attractive targeted therapy for tumors dependent on deregulated NOTCH activity. To clarify the basis for GSI resistance in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), we studied T-ALL cell lines with constitutive expression of the NOTCH intracellular domain (NICD), but that lacked C-terminal truncating mutations in NOTCH1. Each of the seven cell lines examined and 7 of 81 (8.6%) primary T-ALL samples harbored either a mutation or homozygous deletion of the gene FBW7, a ubiquitin ligase implicated in NICD turnover. Indeed, we show that FBW7 mutants cannot bind to the NICD and define the phosphodegron region of the NICD required for FBW7 binding. Although the mutant forms of FBW7 were still able to bind to MYC, they do not target it for degradation, suggesting that stabilization of both NICD and its principle downstream target, MYC, may contribute to transformation in leukemias with FBW7 mutations. In addition, we show that all seven leukemic cell lines with FBW7 mutations were resistant to the MRK-003 GSI. Most of these resistant lines also failed to down-regulate the mRNA levels of the NOTCH targets MYC and DELTEX1 after treatment with MRK-003, implying that residual NOTCH signaling in T-ALLs with FBW7 mutations contributes to GSI resistance.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of the c-Myc oncoprotein is observed in a large number of hematopoietic malignancies, and transgenic animal models have revealed a potent role for c-Myc in the generation of leukemias and lymphomas. However, the reason for high c-Myc protein levels in most cases is unknown. We examined whether aberrant protein stabilization could be a mechanism of c-Myc overexpression in leukemia cell lines and in primary bone marrow samples from pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. We found that c-Myc protein half-life was prolonged in the majority of leukemia cell lines and bone marrow samples tested. There were no mutations in the c-myc gene in any of the leukemia cell lines that could account for increased c-Myc stability. However, abnormal phosphorylation at two conserved sites, Threonine 58 and Serine 62, was observed in leukemia cell lines with stabilized c-Myc. Moreover, stabilized c-Myc from the ALL cell lines showed decreased affinity for glycogen synthase kinase3beta, the kinase that phosphorylates c-Myc at Threonine 58 and facilitates its degradation. These findings reveal that deregulation of the c-Myc degradation pathway controlled by Serine 62 and Threonine 58 phosphorylation is a novel mechanism for increased expression of a potent oncoprotein known to be involved in hematopoietic malignancies.