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Mimicry of a constitutively active pre-B cell receptor in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells

By N. Feldhahn, F. Klein, J. Mooster, P. Hadweh, M. Sprangers, M. Wartenberg, M. Bekhite, W. Hofmann, S. Herzog, H. Jumaa, J. Rowley and M. Müschen


Pre-B cells undergo apoptosis unless they are rescued by pre-B cell receptor-dependent survival signals. We previously showed that the BCR-ABL1 kinase that is expressed in pre-B lymphoblastic leukemia bypasses selection for pre-B cell receptor-dependent survival signals. Investigating possible interference of BCR-ABL1 with pre-B cell receptor signaling, we found that neither SYK nor SLP65 can be phosphorylated in response to pre-B cell receptor engagement. Instead, Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is constitutively phosphorylated by BCR-ABL1. Activated BTK is essential for survival signals that otherwise would arise from the pre-B cell receptor, including activation of PLCγ1, autonomous Ca2<sup>+</sup> signaling, STAT5-phosphorylation, and up-regulation of BCLX<sub>L</sub>. Inhibition of BTK activity specifically induces apoptosis in BCR-ABL1<sup>+</sup> leukemia cells to a similar extent as inhibition of BCR-ABL1 kinase activity itself. However, BCR-ABL1 cannot directly bind to full-length BTK. Instead, BCR-ABL1 induces the expression of a truncated splice variant of BTK that acts as a linker between the two kinases. As opposed to full-length BTK, truncated BTK lacks kinase activity yet can bind to BCR-ABL1 through its SRC-homology domain 3. Acting as a linker, truncated BTK enables BCR-ABL1-dependent activation of full-length BTK, which initiates downstream survival signals and mimics a constitutively active pre-B cell receptor

Year: 2005
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Provided by: MPG.PuRe
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