Overexpression/enhanced kinase activity of BCR/ABL and altered expression of Notch1 induced acute leukemia in p210BCR/ABL transgenic mice
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Chronic myelogenous leukemia
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic disorder, which begins as indolent chronic phase but inevitably progresses to fatal blast crisis. p210BCR/ABL, a constitutively active tyrosine kinase, is responsible for disease initiation but molecular mechanism(s) underlying disease evolution remains largely unknown. To explore this process, we employed retroviral insertional mutagenesis to CML-exhibiting p210BCR/ABL transgenic mice (Tg). Virus infection induced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in p210BCR/ABL Tg with a higher frequency and in a shorter latency than wild-type littermates, and inverse PCR detected two retrovirus common integration sites (CISs) in p210BCR/ABL Tg tumors. Interestingly, one CIS was the transgene itself, where retrovirus integrations induced upregulation of p210BCR/ABL and production of truncated BCR/ABL with an enhanced kinase activity. Another CIS was Notch1 gene, where retrovirus integrations resulted in overexpression of Notch1 and generation of Notch1 lacking the C-terminal region (Notch1C) associated with stable expression of its activated product, C-terminus-truncated Notch intracellular domain (NICDC). In addition, generation of Tg for both p210BCR/ABL and Notch1C developed ALL in a shortened period with Stat5 activation, demonstrating the cooperative oncogenicity of Notch1C/NICDC with p210BCR/ABL involving Stat5-mediated pathway. These results demonstrated that overexpression/enhanced kinase activity of BCR/ABL and altered expression of Notch1 induce acute leukemia in a transgenic model for CML.
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