Notch signaling plays a role in normal lymphocyte development and function. Activating Notch1-mutations, leading to aberrant downstream signaling, have been identified in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). While this highlights the contribution of Notch signaling to T-ALL pathogenesis, the mechanismsby which Notch regulates proliferation and survival in normal and leukemic T cells are not fully understood. Our findings identify a role for Notch signaling in G 1-S progression of cell cycle in T cells. Here we show that expression of the G 1 proteins, cyclin D3, CDK4, and CDK6, is Notch-dependent both in vitro and in vivo, and we outline a possible mechanism for the regulated expression of cyclin D3 in activated T cells via CSL (CBF-1, mammals; suppressor of hairless, Drosophila melanogaster; Lag-1, Caenorhabditis elegans), as well as a noncanonical Notch signaling pathway. While cyclin D3 expression contributes to cell-cycle progression in Notch-dependent human T-ALL cell lines, ectopic expression of CDK4 or CDK6 together with cyclin D3 shows partial rescue from 7-secretase inhibitor (GSI)-induced G 1 arrest in these cell lines. Importantly, cyclin D3 and CDK4 are highly overexpressed in Notch-dependent T-cell lymphomas, justifying the combined use of cell-cycle inhibitors and GSI in treating human T-cell malignancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology