Notch signaling promotes mature T-cell lymphomagenesis

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Cancer research


Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) are agressive lymphomas that develop from mature T cells. The most common PTCLs are genetically, molecularly, and clinically diverse and are generally associated with dismal outcomes. While Notch signaling plays a critically important role in both the development of immature T cells and their malignant transformation, its role in PTCL is poorly understood, despite the increasingly appreciated function of Notch in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of mature T cells. Here, we demonstrate that Notch receptors and their Delta-like family ligands (DLL1/DLL4) play a pathogenic role in PTCL. Notch1 activation was observed in common PTCL subtypes, including PTCL-NOS. In a large cohort of PTCL-NOS biopsies, Notch1 activation was significantly associated with surrogate markers of proliferation. Complementary genetically-engineered mouse models and spontaneous PTCL models were utilized to functionally examine the role of Notch signaling, and Notch1/Notch2 blockade and pan-Notch blockade using dominant negative MAML significantly impaired the proliferation of malignant T cells and PTCL progression in these models. Treatment with DLL1/DLL4 blocking antibodies established that Notch signaling is ligand dependent. Together, these findings reveal a role for ligand-dependent Notch signaling in driving peripheral T-cell lymphomagenesis.

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ePub ahead of print