The long term goal of this project is to develop better therapeutics for NK-LGL leukemia. The proposal represents a new approach to leukemia pathogenesis by positing that imbalances in the sphingolipid rheostat confer the leukemia phenotype. This model postulates that cell fate is determined by the balance between pro- survival (sphingosine-1-phosphate, S1P) and pro-apoptotic (ceramide) lipids. Preliminary data demonstrate altered sphingolipid metabolism in this disease, including increased levels of S1P and decreased levels of ceramide in leukemic LGL;increased expression of acid ceramidase;and findings that stable knockdown of acid ceramidase enhances production of long chain ceramide and results in decreased viability of leukemic LGL. Furthermore, we show that targeting sphingolipid signaling represents a new avenue for therapeutic intervention in this disease. We achieve complete remission of aggressive NK-LGL leukemia by utilizing nanoliposomal formulation of short chain C6 ceramide or the S1P receptor antagonist, FTY720, in the Fischer rat animal model. We will test the hypothesis that S1PR5 signaling mediates survival of leukemic NK cells (Specific Aim 1). Knockdown of S1PR5, the predominant S1P receptor expressed on leukemic NK cells, inhibits constitutive ERK phosphorylation and induces apoptosis. Constitutive overexpression of Rac1, PAK3, RhoB and ROCK1, potential downstream effectors of S1PR5, is observed in leukemic NK cells. Pharmacological inhibition of Gi, RAC1 and ROCK also results in cell death in leukemic NK cells, demonstrating that these targets may be involved in S1PR5-dependent survival pathways.
Specific Aim 2 will test the hypothesis that FTY720 induces both apoptosis and autophagy in leukemic NK cells by targeting sphingolipid signaling. We show that pharmacological inhibition of autophagy increases apoptosis induced by FTY720, indicating that blockade of autophagy potentiates FTY720 therapeutic efficacy in leukemic NK cells. FTY720 treatment of leukemic LGL leads to accumulation of intracellular S1P, suggesting that autophagy induced by FTY720 might occur through inhibition of S1P lyase. In addition, we postulate that leukemic NK cells are dependent on survival signaling resulting from NK receptor target recognition in vivo. Convincing preliminary data indicate that sphingolipid survival pathways are activated in normal NK cells after target binding in vitro. Findings similar to those seen in NK-LGL leukemia include upregulation of S1PR5, identification of RhoB, ROCK1, Rac1 and PAK3 as downstream components of S1PR5 signaling, and induction of apoptosis by FTY720. We anticipate that the proposed research will have significant impact on the field of NK cell biology. Our work will define new pathways important for survival of both leukemic and activated normal NK cells. We expect that understanding sphingolipid survival signaling will lead to novel therapeutic approaches for an incurable illness.
This study is investigating leukemia which arises from killer cells of the immune system. The purpose of these studies is to understand the signals which keep the leukemia cells alive. This information can be used to design better treatments.
|Steinway, Steven Nathaniel; LeBlanc, Francis; Loughran Jr, Thomas P (2014) The pathogenesis and treatment of large granular lymphocyte leukemia. Blood Rev 28:87-94|
|Hasanali, Zainul S; Epner, Elliot M; Feith, David J et al. (2014) Vorinostat downregulates CD30 and decreases brentuximab vedotin efficacy in human lymphocytes. Mol Cancer Ther 13:2784-92|
|Jerez, Andres; Clemente, Michael J; Makishima, Hideki et al. (2013) STAT3 mutations indicate the presence of subclinical T-cell clones in a subset of aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients. Blood 122:2453-9|
|Watters, Rebecca J; Fox, Todd E; Tan, Su-Fern et al. (2013) Targeting glucosylceramide synthase synergizes with C6-ceramide nanoliposomes to induce apoptosis in natural killer cell leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 54:1288-96|
|Doi, Kenichiro; Li, Rongshi; Sung, Shen-Shu et al. (2012) Discovery of marinopyrrole A (maritoclax) as a selective Mcl-1 antagonist that overcomes ABT-737 resistance by binding to and targeting Mcl-1 for proteasomal degradation. J Biol Chem 287:10224-35|
|Alvarez-Breckenridge, Christopher A; Yu, Jianhua; Price, Richard et al. (2012) The histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid lessens NK cell action against oncolytic virus-infected glioblastoma cells by inhibition of STAT5/T-BET signaling and generation of gamma interferon. J Virol 86:4566-77|
|Saadatpour, Assieh; Wang, Rui-Sheng; Liao, Aijun et al. (2011) Dynamical and structural analysis of a T cell survival network identifies novel candidate therapeutic targets for large granular lymphocyte leukemia. PLoS Comput Biol 7:e1002267|
|Yu, Jianhua; Mitsui, Takeki; Wei, Min et al. (2011) NKp46 identifies an NKT cell subset susceptible to leukemic transformation in mouse and human. J Clin Invest 121:1456-70|
|Liao, Aijun; Broeg, Kathleen; Fox, Todd et al. (2011) Therapeutic efficacy of FTY720 in a rat model of NK-cell leukemia. Blood 118:2793-800|
|Liu, Xin; Loughran Jr, Thomas P (2011) The spectrum of large granular lymphocyte leukemia and Felty's syndrome. Curr Opin Hematol 18:254-9|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 13 publications