Activation of Notch1 drives the development of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma in p53 wild-type mice

Journal Article

ABSTRACTMouse models of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma are widely used to study the development of radiation-induced blood cancers and to gain insights into the biology of human T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. Here, we aimed to determine key oncogenic drivers for the development of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma by performing whole-exome sequencing using tumors and paired normal tissues from mice with and without irradiation. Thymic lymphomas from irradiated wild-type (WT), p53+/- and KrasLA1 mice were not observed to harbor significantly higher numbers of non-synonymous somatic mutations compared to thymic lymphomas from unirradiated p53-/- mice. However, we observed distinct patterns of recurrent mutations in genes that control the Notch1 signaling pathway based on the mutational status of p53. Preferential activation of Notch1 signaling in p53 WT lymphomas was also observed at the RNA and protein level. Using reporter mice for activation of the Notch1 signaling we observed that TBI enriched Notch1hi CD44+ thymocytes, which are capable of self-renewal in vivo. Mechanistically, genetic inhibition of Notch1 signaling in thymocytes prevented the formation of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma in p53 WT mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate a critical role of activated Notch1 signaling in driving multi-step carcinogenesis of thymic lymphoma following total-body irradiation in p53 WT mice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lee, C-L; Brock, KD; Hasapis, S; Zhang, D; Sibley, AB; Qin, X; Gresham, J; Caraballo, I; Luo, L; Daniel, AR; Hilton, MJ; Owzar, K; Kirsch, DG

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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2020.08.21.261487