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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 8;278(32):30028-36. Epub 2003 May 14.

Identification and characterization of a nuclear interacting partner of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NIPA).

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, Laboratory of Leukemogenesis, Technical University of Munich, 81675 Munich, Germany.


Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphomas characterized by the expression of CD30. More than half of these lymphomas carry a chromosomal translocation t(2;5) leading to expression of the oncogenic tyrosine kinase nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK). NPM-ALK is capable of transforming fibroblasts and lymphocytes in vitro and of causing lymphomas in mice. Previously, we and others demonstrated phospholipase C-gamma and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase as crucial downstream signaling mediators of NPM-ALK-induced oncogenicity. In this study, we used an ALK fusion protein as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen identifying NIPA (nuclear interacting partner of ALK) as a novel downstream target of NPM-ALK. NIPA encodes a 60-kDa protein that is expressed in a broad range of human tissues and contains a classical nuclear translocation signal in its C terminus, which directs its nuclear localization. NIPA interacts with NPM-ALK and other ALK fusions in a tyrosine kinase-dependent manner and is phosphorylated in NPM-ALK-expressing cells on tyrosine and serine residues with serine 354 as a major phosphorylation site. Overexpression of NIPA in Ba/F3 cells was able to protect from apoptosis induced by IL-3 withdrawal. Mutations of the nuclear translocation signal or the Ser-354 phosphorylation site impaired the antiapoptotic function of NIPA. In NPM-ALK-transformed Ba/F3 cells, apoptosis triggered by wortmannin treatment was enhanced by overexpression of putative dominant-negative NIPA mutants. These results implicate an antiapoptotic role for NIPA in NPM-ALK-mediated signaling events.

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