The ZMYM2-FGFR1 (formerly known as ZNF198-FGFR1) fusion kinase induces stem cell leukemia-lymphoma syndrome (SCLL), a hematologic malignancy characterized by rapid transformation to acute myeloid leukemia and T-lymphoblastic lymphoma. In the present study, we demonstrate frequent, constitutive activation of Notch1 and its downstream target genes in T-cell lymphomas that arose in a murine model of ZMYM2-FGFR1 SCLL. Notch up-regulation was also demonstrated in human SCLL- and FGFR1OP2-FGFR1-expressing KG-1 cells. To study the role of Notch in T-cell lymphomagenesis, we developed a highly tumorigenic cell line from ZMYM2-FGFR1-expressing cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of Notch signaling in these cells using γ-secretase inhibitors significantly delayed leukemogenesis in vivo. shRNA targeting of Notch1, as well as c-promoter-binding factor 1 (CBF1) and mastermind-like 1 (MAML1), 2 essential cofactors involved in transcriptional activation of Notch target genes, also significantly delayed or inhibited tumorigenesis in vivo. Mutation analysis demonstrated that 5′ promoter deletions and alternative promoter usage were responsible for constitutive activation of Notch1 in all T-cell lymphomas. These data demonstrate the importance of Notch signaling in the etiology of SCLL, and suggest that targeting this pathway could provide a novel strategy for molecular therapies to treat SCLL patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology