Whole-Exome Sequencing of Radiation-Induced Thymic Lymphoma in Mouse Models Identifies Notch1 Activation as a Driver of p53 Wild-Type Lymphoma.
Mouse 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-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. Here we aimed to identify 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 nonsynonymous somatic mutations compared with thymic lymphomas from unirradiated p53-/- mice. However, distinct patterns of recurrent mutations arose 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. Reporter mice for activation of Notch1 signaling revealed that total-body irradiation (TBI) enriched Notch1hi CD44+ thymocytes that could propagate in vivo after thymocyte transplantation. Mechanistically, genetic inhibition of Notch1 signaling in immature thymocytes prevented formation of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma in p53 WT mice. Taken together, these results demonstrate a critical role of activated Notch1 signaling in driving multistep carcinogenesis of thymic lymphoma following TBI in p53 WT mice. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings reveal the mutational landscape and key drivers in murine radiation-induced thymic lymphoma, a classic animal model that has been used to study radiation carcinogenesis for over 70 years.
Lee, C-L; Brock, KD; Hasapis, S; Zhang, D; Sibley, AB; Qin, X; Gresham, JS; Caraballo, I; Luo, L; Daniel, AR; Hilton, MJ; Owzar, K; Kirsch, DG
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