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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 16;107(11):5106-11. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001064107. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Mutant Ikzf1, KrasG12D, and Notch1 cooperate in T lineage leukemogenesis and modulate responses to targeted agents.

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  • 1Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Mice that accurately model the genetic diversity found in human cancer are valuable tools for interrogating disease mechanisms and investigating novel therapeutic strategies. We performed insertional mutagenesis with the MOL4070LTR retrovirus in Mx1-Cre, Kras(G12D) mice and generated a large cohort of T lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). Molecular analysis infers that retroviral integration within Ikzf1 is an early event in leukemogenesis that precedes Kras(G12D) expression and later acquisition of somatic Notch1 mutations. Importantly, biochemical analysis uncovered unexpected heterogeneity, which suggests that Ras signaling networks are remodeled during multistep tumorigenesis. We tested tumor-derived cell lines to identify biomarkers of therapeutic response to targeted inhibitors. Whereas all T-ALLs tested were sensitive to a dual-specificity phosphoinosityl 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor, biochemical evidence of Notch1 activation correlated with sensitivity to gamma-secretase inhibition. In addition, Kras(G12D) T-ALLs were more responsive to a MAP/ERK kinase inhibitor in vitro and in vivo. Together, these studies identify a genetic pathway involving Ikzf1, Kras(G12D), and Notch1 in T lineage leukemogenesis, reveal unexpected diversity in Ras-regulated signaling networks, and define biomarkers of drug responses that may inform treatment strategies.

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