TYK2-STAT1-BCL2 pathway dependence in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Takaomi Sanda, Jeffrey W. Tyner, Alejandro Gutierrez, Vu N. Ngo, Jason Glover, Bill H. Chang, Arla Yost, Wenxue Ma, Angela G. Fleischman, Wenjun Zhou, Yandan Yang, Maria Kleppe, Yebin Ahn, Jessica Tatarek, Michelle A. Kelliher, Donna S. Neuberg, Ross L. Levine, Richard Moriggl, Mathias Müller, Nathanael S. GrayCatriona H.M. Jamieson, Andrew P. Weng, Louis M. Staudt, Brian J. Druker, A. Thomas Look

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Targeted molecular therapy has yielded remarkable outcomes in certain cancers, but specific therapeutic targets remain elusive for many others. As a result of two independent RNA interference (RNAi) screens, we identified pathway dependence on a member of the Janusactivated kinase (JAK) tyrosine kinase family, TYK2, and its downstream effector STAT1, in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Gene knockdown experiments consistently showed TYK2 dependence in both T-ALL primary specimens and cell lines, and a small-molecule inhibitor of JAK activity induced T-ALL cell death. Activation of this TYK2-STAT1 pathway in T-ALL cell lines occurs by gain-of-function TYK2 mutations or activation of interleukin (IL)-10 receptor signaling, and this pathway mediates T-ALL cell survival through upregulation of the antiapoptotic protein BCL2. These findings indicate that in many T-ALL cases, the leukemic cells are dependent upon the TYK2-STAT1-BCL2 pathway for continued survival, supporting the development of molecular therapies targeting TYK2 and other components of this pathway. Significance: In recent years, "pathway dependence" has been revealed in specific types of human cancer, which can be important because they pinpoint proteins that are particularly vulnerable to antitumor-targeted inhibition (so-called Achilles' heel proteins). Here, we use RNAi technology to identify a novel oncogenic pathway that involves aberrant activation of the TYK2 tyrosine kinase and its downstream substrate, STAT1, which ultimately promotes T-ALL cell survival through the upregulation of BCL2 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-577
Number of pages14
JournalCancer discovery
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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