β-catenin stabilization stalls the transition from double-positive to single-positive stage and predisposes thymocytes to malignant transformation

Zhuyan Guo, Marei Dose, Damian Kovalovsky, Rui Chang, Jennifer O'Neil, A. Thomas Look, Harald Von Boehmer, Khashayarsha Khazaie, Fotini Gounari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Activation of β-catenin has been causatively linked to the etiology of colon cancer. Conditional stabilization of this molecule in pro-T cells promotes thymocyte development without the requirement for pre-TCR signaling. We show here that activated β-catenin stalls the developmental transition from the double-positive (DP) to the single-positive (SP) thymocyte stage and predisposes DP thymocytes to transformation. β-Catenin-induced thymic lymphomas have a leukemic arrest at the early DPstage. Lymphomagenesis requires Rag activity, which peaks at this developmental stage, as well as additional secondary genetic events. A consistent secondary event is the transcriptional up-regulation of c-Myc, whose activity is required for transformation because its conditional ablation abrogates lymphomagenesis. In contrast, the expression of Notch receptors as well as targets is reduced in DP thymocytes with stabilized β-catenin and remains low in the lymphomas, indicating that Notch activation is not required or selected for in β-catenin-induced lymphomas. Thus, β-catenin activation may provide a mechanism for the induction of T-cell-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) that does not depend on Notch activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5463-5472
Number of pages10
JournalBlood
Volume109
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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