More than half of anaplastic large-cell lymphomas (ALCLs) have a chromosomal translocation t(2;5) that leads to the expression of a hybrid protein composed of the nucleolar phosphoprotein nucleophosmin (NPM) and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) that exhibits an unregulated tyrosine kinase activity. We have previously identified PLC-γ as a crucial downstream signaling molecule of NPM-ALK that contributes to its mitogenic potential. Here, we show that NPM-ALK recruits the C-terminal SH2 domain of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (Pl 3-kinase) p85 subunit. Pl 3-kinase assays revealed that the kinase is activated by NPM-ALK in vivo, in turn activating PKB/Akt in NPM-ALK-expressing cells. The use of 2 specific Pl 3-kinase inhibitors, wortmannin and LY294002, demonstrated the requirement of Pl 3-kinase for the growth of NPM-ALK-transformed cell lines, as well as a cell line established from a patient with ALCL. Primary murine bone marrow retrovirally transduced with NPM-ALK showed a transformed phenotype that was reversible on treatment with Pl 3-kinase inhibitors. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that wortmannin-treated NPM-ALK-transformed cell lines underwent apoptosis. Furthermore, apoptosis induced by overexpression of the proapoptotic molecule Bad could be partially blocked by the overexpression of NPM-ALK. Thus, NPM-ALK activates the antiapoptotic Pl 3-kinase/Akt pathway, which likely contributes to the molecular pathogenesis of ALCL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology