Notch signaling is a potent inducer of growth arrest and apoptosis in a wide range of B-cell malignancies.
Although Notch receptor expression on malignant B cells is widespread, the effect of Notch signaling in these cells is poorly understood. To investigate Notch signaling in B-cell malignancy, we assayed the effect of Notch activation in multiple murine and human B-cell tumors, representing both immature and mature subtypes. Expression of constitutively active, truncated forms of the 4 mammalian Notch receptors (ICN1-4) inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in both murine and human B-cell lines but not T-cell lines. Similar results were obtained in human precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia lines when Notch activation was achieved by coculture with fibroblasts expressing the Notch ligands Jagged1 or Jagged2. All 4 truncated Notch receptors, as well as the Jagged ligands, induced Hes1 transcription. Retroviral expression of Hairy/Enhancer of Split-1 (Hes1) recapitulated the Notch effects, suggesting that Hes1 is an important mediator of Notch-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in B cells. Among the B-cell malignancies that were susceptible to Notch-mediated growth inhibition/apoptosis were mature B-cell and therapy-resistant B-cell malignancies, including Hodgkin, myeloma, and mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-translocated cell lines. These results suggest that therapies capable of activating Notch/Hes1 signaling may have therapeutic potential in a wide range of human B-cell malignancies.
Zweidler-McKay, PA; He, Y; Xu, L; Rodriguez, CG; Karnell, FG; Carpenter, AC; Aster, JC; Allman, D; Pear, WS
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