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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 27;8(12):e84841. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084841. eCollection 2013.

Characterization of two distinct lymphoproliferative diseases caused by ectopic expression of the Notch ligand DLL4 on T cells.

Author information

1
Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America ; The Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America.
2
Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America.
3
Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America ; Department of Dermatology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, United States of America.
4
Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America ; Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America.
5
Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women´s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

Notch signaling is essential for the development of T cell progenitors through the interaction of NOTCH1 receptor on their surface with the ligand, Delta-like 4 (DLL4), which is expressed by the thymic epithelial cells. Notch signaling is quickly shut down once the cells pass β-selection, and CD4/CD8 double positive (DP) cells are unresponsive to Notch. Over the past two decades a number of papers reported that over-activation of Notch signaling causes T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), a cancer that prominently features circulating monoclonal CD4/CD8 double positive T cells in different mouse models. However, the possible outcomes of Notch over-activation at different stages of T cell development are unknown, and the fine timing of Notch signaling that results in T-ALL is poorly understood. Here we report, by using a murine model that ectopically expresses DLL4 on developing T cells, that the T-ALL onset is highly dependent on a sustained Notch activity throughout the DP stage, which induces additional mutations to further boost the signaling. In contrast, a shorter period of Notch activation that terminates at the DP stage causes a polyclonal, non-transmissible lymphoproliferative disorder that is also lethal. These observations resolved the discrepancy of previous papers on DLL4 driven hematological diseases in mice, and show the critical importance of the timing and duration of Notch activity.

PMID:
24386421
PMCID:
PMC3874025
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0084841
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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