Current Site Of Practice: Boston University, Medical Campus
Focus of Research:
Fellowship Year: 2013 – 2014
Attended: Boston University
Co-Authors Anderson NM, Harrold I, Mansour MR, Sanda T, McKeown M, Nagykary N, Bradner JE, Lan Zhang G, Look AT, Feng H.
Co-Authors Feng H, Langenau DM, Madge JA, Quinkertz A, Gutierrez A, Neuberg DS, Kanki JP, Look AT.
The zebrafish is an ideal vertebrate model system to investigate the complex genetic basis of cancer because it has the capacity for in vivo tumour-cell imaging and forward genetic screens, and the molecular mechanisms regulating malignancy are remarkably conserved when compared with human. Our laboratory has previously generated transgenic zebrafish models that overexpress the mouse c-Myc gene fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and develop T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) that recapitulates the human disease both molecularly and pathologically. Our previous models have been limited by disease onset prior to sexual maturity and by the low disease penetrance when conditional transgenic embryos are injected with Cre RNA. Here, we report a novel system in which compound transgenic fish expressed both Cre controlled by the heat-shock promoter and a rag2-promoter-regulated lox-dsRED2-lox-EGFP-mMyc cassette rag2-LDL-EMyc in developing T cells. After heat-shock treatment at 3 d postfertilisation (dpf) for 45 min at 37 degrees C, 81% of compound transgenic fish developed T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL, mean latency 120 +/- 43 (standard deviation) days of life), which rapidly progressed to T-ALL. Heat-shock-regulated transgenic technology in zebrafish provides the missing link necessary to exploit the powerful genetic capacity of this organism to probe the multi-step molecular pathogenesis of leukaemia.
Co-Authors Feng H, Stachura DL, White RM, Gutierrez A, Zhang L, Sanda T, Jette CA, Testa JR, Neuberg DS, Langenau DM, Kutok JL, Zon LI, Traver D, Fleming MD, Kanki JP, Look AT.
The molecular events underlying the progression of T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL) to acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) remain elusive. In our zebrafish model, concomitant overexpression of bcl-2 with Myc accelerated T-LBL onset while inhibiting progression to T-ALL. The T-LBL cells failed to invade the vasculature and showed evidence of increased homotypic cell-cell adhesion and autophagy. Further analysis using clinical biopsy specimens revealed autophagy and increased levels of BCL2, S1P1, and ICAM1 in human T-LBL compared with T-ALL. Inhibition of S1P1 signaling in T-LBL cells led to decreased homotypic adhesion in vitro and increased tumor cell intravasation in vivo. Thus, blockade of intravasation and hematologic dissemination in T-LBL is due to elevated S1P1 signaling, increased expression of ICAM1, and augmented homotypic cell-cell adhesion.