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Oncogene. 2003 Oct 30;22(49):7750-61.

Vav-promoter regulated oncogenic fusion protein NPM-ALK in transgenic mice causes B-cell lymphomas with hyperactive Jun kinase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, Molecular Immunology Programme, The Babraham Institute, Babraham, Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK.


Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is associated with a chromosomal translocation generating an oncogenic fusion protein: the nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK). We have generated several independent lines of human NPM-ALK transgenic mice using the haematopoietic cell-specific Vav promoter. Lymphomas develop in two transgenic lines in which the Vav promoter regulates NPM-ALK expression. The transgenic line with higher copy number displays an early-onset phenotype in which all mice succumb to aggressive lymph node tumours with intestinal involvement, whereas the second line displays late-onset tumour development in the spleen and/or liver. Lymphomas from both lines are phenotypically distinct and display B-lineage characteristics with aberrant coexpression of myeloid markers. The NPM-ALK kinase is active in primary tumour tissue and forms a multimeric complex with tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins, that is, Shc. Jun and ERK kinase activities in tumours are elevated by up to 30-fold and fivefold, respectively, in comparison with sIgM-stimulated primary B cells. The new transgenic models provide a system for investigating the oncogenic events mediated by NPM-ALK in situ and a physiologically relevant context for developing tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapies of potential use in the clinic.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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