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Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 15;69(22):8611-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2655. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

NPM-ALK oncogenic tyrosine kinase controls T-cell identity by transcriptional regulation and epigenetic silencing in lymphoma cells.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Torino, Center for Experimental Research and Medical Studies, ASO San Giovanni Battista, Torino, Italy.


Transformed cells in lymphomas usually maintain the phenotype of the postulated normal lymphocyte from which they arise. By contrast, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a T-cell lymphoma with aberrant phenotype because of the defective expression of the T-cell receptor and other T-cell-specific molecules for still undetermined mechanisms. The majority of ALCL carries the translocation t(2;5) that encodes for the oncogenic tyrosine kinase NPM-ALK, fundamental for survival, proliferation, and migration of transformed T cells. Here, we show that loss of T-cell-specific molecules in ALCL cases is broader than reported previously and involves most T-cell receptor-related signaling molecules, including CD3epsilon, ZAP70, LAT, and SLP76. We further show that NPM-ALK, but not the kinase-dead NPM-ALK(K210R), downregulated the expression of these molecules by a STAT3-mediated gene transcription regulation and/or epigenetic silencing because this downregulation was reverted by treating ALCL cells with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine or by knocking down STAT3 through short hairpin RNA. Finally, NPM-ALK increased the methylation of ZAP70 intron 1-exon 2 boundary region, and both NPM-ALK and STAT3 regulated the expression levels of DNA methyltransferase 1 in transformed T cells. Thus, our data reveal that oncogene-deregulated tyrosine kinase activity controls the expression of molecules that determine T-cell identity and signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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