Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    AKT signalling is required for ribosomal RNA synthesis and progression of E mu-Myc B-cell lymphoma in vivo
    Devlin, JR ; Hannan, KM ; Ng, PY ; Bywater, MJ ; Shortt, J ; Cullinane, C ; McArthur, GA ; Johnstone, RW ; Hannan, RD ; Pearson, RB (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013-11-01)
    The dysregulation of PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signalling and/or hyperactivation of MYC are observed in a high proportion of human cancers, and together they form a 'super signalling' network mediating malignancy. A fundamental downstream action of this signalling network is up-regulation of ribosome biogenesis and subsequent alterations in the patterns of translation and increased protein synthesis, which are thought to be critical for AKT/MYC-driven oncogenesis. We have demonstrated that AKT and MYC cooperate to drive ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription and ribosome biogenesis, with AKT being essential for rDNA transcription and in vitro survival of lymphoma cells isolated from a MYC-driven model of B-cell lymphoma (Eμ-Myc) [Chan JC et al., (2011) Science Signalling 4, ra56]. Here we show that the allosteric AKT inhibitor MK-2206 rapidly and potently antagonizes rDNA transcription in Eμ-Myc B-cell lymphomas in vivo, and this is associated with a rapid reduction in indicators of disease burden, including spleen weight and the abundance of tumour cells in both the circulation and lymph nodes. Extended treatment of tumour-bearing mice with MK-2206 resulted in a significant delay in disease progression, associated with increased B-cell lymphoma apoptosis. Our findings suggest that malignant diseases characterized by unrestrained ribosome biogenesis may be vulnerable to therapeutic strategies that target the PI3K/AKT/mTORC1/MYC growth control network.
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    Loss of PML cooperates with mutant p53 to drive more aggressive cancers in a gender-dependent manner
    Haupt, S ; Mitchell, C ; Corneille, V ; Shortt, J ; Fox, S ; Pandolfi, PP ; Castillo-Martin, M ; Bonal, DM ; Cordon-Cardo, C ; Lozano, G ; Haupt, Y (TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2013-06-01)
    UNLABELLED: p53 mutations and downregulation of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) are common genetic alterations in human cancers. In healthy cells these two key tumor suppressors exist in a positive regulatory loop, promoting cell death and cellular senescence. However, the influence of their interplay on tumorigenesis has not been explored directly in vivo. The contribution of PML to mutant p53 driven cancer was evaluated in a mouse model harboring a p53 mutation (p53 (wild-type/R172H) ) that recapitulates a frequent p53 mutation (p53 (R175H) ) in human sporadic and Li-Fraumeni cancers. These mice with PML displayed perturbation of the hematopoietic compartment, manifested either as lymphoma or extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH). EMH was associated with peripheral blood leucocytosis and macrocytic anemia, suggestive of myeloproliferative- myelodysplastic overlap. In contrast, a complete loss of PML from these mice resulted in a marked alteration in tumor profile. While the incidence of lymphomas was unaltered, EMH was not detected and the majority of mice succumbed to sarcomas. Further, males lacking PML exhibited a high incidence of soft tissue sarcomas and reduced survival, while females largely developed osteosarcomas, without impact on survival. Together, these findings demonstrate that PML is an important tumor suppressor dictating disease development in a pertinent mouse model of human cancer.   KEY POINTS: (1) A mutant p53 allele disrupts hematopoiesis in mice, by promoting lymphomas and myeloproliferative / myelodysplastic overlap. (2) Coincidental p53 allele mutation and PML loss shifts the tumor profile toward sarcoma formation, which is paralleled in human leiomyosarcomas (indicated by immunohistochemistry; IHC).