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Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Jan 1;25(1):222-239. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1740. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

USP7 Cooperates with NOTCH1 to Drive the Oncogenic Transcriptional Program in T-Cell Leukemia.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
2
Master of Science in Biotechnology Graduate Program, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
3
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
4
Progenra Inc., Malvern, Pennsylvania.
5
Proteomics Center of Excellence, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
6
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
7
Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
8
Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG), Ghent, Belgium.
9
Molecular Cellular Oncology Lab, Department for Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
10
Department of Pathology, New York University, New York, New York.
11
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University, New York, New York.
12
Center for Developmental Therapeutics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
13
University Children's Hospital, Division of Pediatric Oncology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
14
Oncohematology Laboratory, Department of Woman's and Child's Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
15
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
16
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
17
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. Panos.ntz@northwestern.edu.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

PURPOSE:

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive disease, affecting children and adults. Chemotherapy treatments show high response rates but have debilitating effects and carry risk of relapse. Previous work implicated NOTCH1 and other oncogenes. However, direct inhibition of these pathways affects healthy tissues and cancer alike. Our goal in this work has been to identify enzymes active in T-ALL whose activity could be targeted for therapeutic purposes.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

To identify and characterize new NOTCH1 druggable partners in T-ALL, we coupled studies of the NOTCH1 interactome to expression analysis and a series of functional analyses in cell lines, patient samples, and xenograft models.

RESULTS:

We demonstrate that ubiquitin-specific protease 7 (USP7) interacts with NOTCH1 and controls leukemia growth by stabilizing the levels of NOTCH1 and JMJD3 histone demethylase. USP7 is highly expressed in T-ALL and is transcriptionally regulated by NOTCH1. In turn, USP7 controls NOTCH1 levels through deubiquitination. USP7 binds oncogenic targets and controls gene expression through stabilization of NOTCH1 and JMJD3 and ultimately H3K27me3 changes. We also show that USP7 and NOTCH1 bind T-ALL superenhancers, and inhibition of USP7 leads to a decrease of the transcriptional levels of NOTCH1 targets and significantly blocks T-ALL cell growth in vitro and in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results provide a new model for USP7 deubiquitinase activity through recruitment to oncogenic chromatin loci and regulation of both oncogenic transcription factors and chromatin marks to promote leukemia. Our studies also show that targeting USP7 inhibition could be a therapeutic strategy in aggressive leukemia.

PMID:
30224337
PMCID:
PMC6320313
[Available on 2020-01-01]
DOI:
10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1740

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