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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Keywords: Myeloid Neoplasia, Clinical Trials and Observations
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Mature T-cell lymphomas, including peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (NKTL), represent a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas with dismal outcomes and limited treatment options. To determine the extent of involvement of the JAK/STAT pathway in this malignancy, we performed targeted capture sequencing of 188 genes in this pathway in 171 PTCL and NKTL cases. A total of 272 nonsynonymous somatic mutations in 101 genes were identified in 73% of the samples, including 258 single-nucleotide variants and 14 insertions or deletions. Recurrent mutations were most frequently located in STAT3 and TP53 (15%), followed by JAK3 and JAK1 (6%) and SOCS1 (4%). A high prevalence of STAT3 mutation (21%) was observed specifically in NKTL. Novel STAT3 mutations (p.D427H, E616G, p.E616K, and p.E696K) were shown to increase STAT3 phosphorylation and transcriptional activity of STAT3 in the absence of cytokine, in which p.E616K induced programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by robust binding of activated STAT3 to the PD-L1 gene promoter. Consistent with these findings, PD-L1 was overexpressed in NKTL cell lines harboring hotspot STAT3 mutations, and similar findings were observed by the overexpression of p.E616K and p.E616G in the STAT3 wild-type NKTL cell line. Conversely, STAT3 silencing and inhibition decreased PD-L1 expression in STAT3 mutant NKTL cell lines. In NKTL tumors, STAT3 activation correlated significantly with PD-L1 expression. We demonstrated that STAT3 activation confers high PD-L1 expression, which may promote tumor immune evasion. The combination of PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies and STAT3 inhibitors might be a promising therapeutic approach for NKTL, and possibly PTCL.
    Keywords: Immunobiology and Immunotherapy, Lymphoid Neoplasia
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-09-21
    Description: Notch1 signaling must elevate to high levels in order to drive the proliferation of CD4 – CD8 – double-negative (DN) thymocytes and progression to the CD4 + CD8 + double-positive (DP) stage through β-selection. During this critical phase of pre–T-cell development, which is also known as the DN-DP transition, it is unclear whether the Notch1 transcriptional complex strengthens its signal output as a discrete unit or through cofactors. We previously showed that the protein inhibitor of activated STAT–like coactivator Zmiz1 is a context-dependent cofactor of Notch1 in T-cell leukemia. We also showed that withdrawal of Zmiz1 generated an early T-lineage progenitor (ETP) defect. Here, we show that this early defect seems inconsistent with loss-of-Notch1 function. In contrast, at the later pre–T-cell stage, withdrawal of Zmiz1 impaired the DN-DP transition by inhibiting proliferation, like withdrawal of Notch. In pre–T cells, but not ETPs, Zmiz1 cooperatively regulated Notch1 target genes Hes1 , Lef1 , and Myc. Enforced expression of either activated Notch1 or Myc partially rescued the Zmiz1-deficient DN-DP defect. We identified residues in the tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain of Zmiz1 that bind Notch1. Mutating only a single residue impaired the Zmiz1-Notch1 interaction, Myc induction, the DN-DP transition, and leukemic proliferation. Similar effects were seen using a dominant-negative TPR protein. Our studies identify stage-specific roles of Zmiz1. Zmiz1 is a context-specific cofactor for Notch1 during Notch/Myc-dependent thymocyte proliferation, whether normal or malignant. Finally, we highlight a vulnerability in leukemic cells that originated from a developmentally important Zmiz1-Notch1 interaction that is hijacked during transformation from normal pre–T cells.
    Keywords: Immunobiology and Immunotherapy, Lymphoid Neoplasia
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) suffer from intravascular hemolysis associated with vascular injury and dysfunction in mouse models, and painful vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) involving increased attachment of sickle erythrocytes and activated leukocytes to damaged vascular endothelium. Patrolling monocytes, which normally scavenge damaged cells and debris from the vasculature, express higher levels of anti-inflammatory heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), a heme degrading enzyme. Here, we show that HO-1–expressing patrolling monocytes protect SCD vasculature from ongoing hemolytic insult and vaso-occlusion. We found that a mean 37% of patrolling monocytes from SCD patients express very high levels of HO-1 (HO-1 hi ) vs 6% in healthy controls and demonstrated that HO-1 hi expression was dependent on uptake of heme-exposed endothelium. SCD patients with a recent VOC episode had lower numbers of HO-1 hi patrolling monocytes. Heme-mediated vaso-occlusion by mouse SCD red blood cells was exacerbated in mice lacking patrolling monocytes, and reversed following transfer of patrolling monocytes. Altogether, these data indicate that SCD patrolling monocytes remove hemolysis-damaged endothelial cells, resulting in HO-1 upregulation and dampening of VOC, and that perturbation in patrolling monocyte numbers resulting in lower numbers of HO-1 hi patrolling monocyte may predispose SCD patients to VOC. These data suggest that HO-1 hi patrolling monocytes are key players in VOC pathophysiology and have potential as therapeutic targets for VOC.
    Keywords: Transfusion Medicine, Red Cells, Iron, and Erythropoiesis
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in some parts of Asia, Africa, and South America and remains to be a significant public health problem in these areas. It is known as a leading risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, but epidemiological studies have also shown that the infection may increase the incidence of several types of B-cell lymphoma. Here, by characterizing altogether 275 Chinese diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients, we showed that patients with concomitant HBV infection (surface antigen positive [HBsAg + ]) are characterized by a younger age, a more advanced disease stage at diagnosis, and reduced overall survival. Furthermore, by whole-genome/exome sequencing of 96 tumors and the respective peripheral blood samples and targeted sequencing of 179 tumors from these patients, we observed an enhanced rate of mutagenesis and a distinct set of mutation targets in HBsAg + DLBCL genomes, which could be partially explained by the activities of APOBEC and activation-induced cytidine deaminase. By transcriptome analysis, we further showed that the HBV-associated gene expression signature is contributed by the enrichment of genes regulated by BCL6, FOXO1, and ZFP36L1. Finally, by analysis of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene sequences, we showed that an antigen-independent mechanism, rather than a chronic antigenic simulation model, is favored in HBV-related lymphomagenesis. Taken together, we present the first comprehensive genomic and transcriptomic study that suggests a link between HBV infection and B-cell malignancy. The genetic alterations identified in this study may also provide opportunities for development of novel therapeutic strategies.
    Keywords: Lymphoid Neoplasia
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: A distinct hallmark of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the arrest of leukemic myeloblasts at an immature stage of development. Therapies that overcome differentiation arrest have emerged as a powerful strategy for treating AML, but targeting leukemia differentiation remains challenging, mainly because of an incomplete mechanistic understanding of the process. Here, we unveil a new role for cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) in blocking myeloid differentiation in AML. We show that among several interphase CDK, only CDK2 undergoes ubiquitin-dependent proteasome degradation, which is accompanied by AML cell differentiation. By using the yeast 2-hybrid system and functional analyses, KLHL6 was identified as a specific E3 ubiquitin ligase regulating the degradation of CDK2. Importantly, inhibiting CDK2, but not other cyclin-dependent kinases CDK1/4/6, effectively induced granulocytic differentiation in AML cell lines and 5 major subtypes of primary patient-derived AML samples. Mechanistically, CDK2 depletion led to the reactivation of differentiation pathway translation, and the differentiation blockade function of CDK2 may be achieved directly by maintaining the activity of PRDX2. Finally, CDK2 depletion arrested tumor growth of AML cells in nude mice and extended survival in both AML cell line and PDX-AML cells derived xenograft mouse models. Thus, our work not only provides experimental evidence for validating CDK2 as a potential therapeutic target for differentiation, but also uncovers the biological function of the CDK2-PRDX2 axis in blocking AML differentiation.
    Keywords: Myeloid Neoplasia
    Print ISSN: 0006-4971
    Electronic ISSN: 1528-0020
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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