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Oncogene. 1997 Nov 27;15(22):2735-42.

Pim1 cooperates with E2a-Pbx1 to facilitate the progression of thymic lymphomas in transgenic mice.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305, USA.


Mice transgenic for the leukemia oncogene E2A-PBX1 invariably develop lethal, high-grade T-cell lymphomas by 5 months of age. In this study, retroviral insertional mutagenesis was employed to identify oncogenes that cooperate with the E2A-PBX1 transgene in lymphomagenesis. Neonatal retroviral infection substantially reduced length of survival due to accelerated development of lymphomas (81 versus 130 days). The Pim1 gene was targeted by retroviral insertions in 48% of accelerated lymphomas whereas less than 5% contained activated c-Myc and none contained activated Pim2. However, Pim1 DNA rearrangements were frequently sub-stoichiometric and not present at all sites of involvement in an otherwise monoclonal lymphoma indicating that Pim1 activation occurred late in the course of lymphomagenesis. Tumor subpopulations containing activated Pim1 alleles displayed a substantial growth advantage over Pim1 negative cells following serial transfer to secondary, syngeneic recipients. Cooperative interactions were observed in intercrossed Pim1 and E2A-PBX1 transgenic mice in which all double transgenic progeny developed lethal, diffuse T lineage lymphomas by 3 months of age, whereas only 13% of E2A-PBX1 and none of Pim1 single transgenic intercross progeny developed lymphomas by 1 year. Tumors from double transgenic mice were monoclonal providing evidence that additional genetic events were required for transformation. Therefore, Pim1 and E2a-Pbx1 cooperate in T lineage lymphomagenesis but they are not sufficient and the role of Pim1 is more likely to be associated with tumor progression.

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