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Lab Invest. 2011 Sep;91(9):1298-303. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2011.96. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Determining the contribution of NPM1 heterozygosity to NPM-ALK-induced lymphomagenesis.

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Division of Molecular Histopathology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Heterozygous expression of Nucleophosmin (NPM1) predisposes to hematological malignancies in the mouse and cooperates with Myc in lymphomagenesis. NPM1 is therefore regarded as a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor. Heterozygous loss of NPM1 occurs as a result of the t(2;5), which generates the oncogenic fusion tyrosine kinase, NPM-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), a molecule underlying the pathogenesis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Given the aforementioned role of NPM1 as a tumor suppressor, we hypothesized that NPM1 heterozygosity would cooperate with NPM-ALK in lymphomagenesis. In the event, we observed no difference in tumor latency, incidence or phenotype in NPM-ALK-transgenic mice heterozygous for NPM1 relative to transgenic mice expressing both NPM1 alleles. We propose that although the t(2;5) simultaneously reduces NPM1 allelic dosage and creates the NPM-ALK fusion protein, the two events do not cooperate in the pathogenesis of ALCL in our mouse model. These data indicate that a tumor-suppressive role for NPM1 may depend on cellular and/or genetic context.

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