Cancer Biology


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0 Q&A 2628 Views Dec 20, 2021

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a highly heterogenous blood cancer, in which the expansion of aberrant myeloid blood cells interferes with the generation and function of normal blood cells. Although key driver mutations and their associated inhibitors have been identified in the last decade, they have not been fully translated into better survival rates for AML patients, which remain dismal. In addition to DNA mutation, studies in mouse models strongly suggest that the cell of origin, where the driver mutation (such as MLL fusions) occurs, emerges as an additional factor that determines the treatment outcome in AML. To investigate its functional relevance in human disease, we have recently reported that AML driven by MLL fusions can transform immunophenotypically and functionally distinctive human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or myeloid progenitors resulting in immunophenotypically indistinguishable human AML. Intriguingly, these cells display differential treatment sensitivities to current treatments, attesting the cell of origin as an important determinant governing treatment outcome for AML. To further facilitate this line of investigation, here we describe a comprehensive disease modelling protocol using human primary haematopoietic cells, which covers all the key steps, from the isolation of immunophenotypically defined human primary haematopoietic stem and progenitor populations, to oncogene transfer via viral transduction, the in vitro liquid culture assay, and finally the xenotransplantation into immunocompromised mice.

0 Q&A 4592 Views May 20, 2020
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy that arises from transformation of T-cell primed hematopoietic progenitors. Although T-ALL is a heterogenous and molecularly complex disease, more than 65% of T-ALL patients carry activating mutations in the NOTCH1 gene. The majority of T-ALL–associated NOTCH1 mutations either disrupt the negative regulatory region, allowing signal activation in the absence of ligand binding, or result in truncation of the C-terminal PEST domain involved in the termination of NOTCH1 signaling by proteasomal degradation. To date, retroviral transduction models have relied heavily on the overexpression of aggressively truncated variants of NOTCH1 (such as ICN1 or ΔE-NOTCH1), which result in supraphysiological levels of signaling activity and are rarely found in human T-ALL. The current protocol describes the method for mouse bone marrow isolation, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSC) enrichment, followed by retroviral transduction with an oncogenic mutant form of the NOTCH1 receptor (NOTCH1-L1601P-ΔP) that closely resembles the gain-of-function mutations most commonly found in patient samples. A hallmark of this forced expression of constitutively active NOTCH1 is a transient wave of extrathymic immature T-cell development, which precedes oncogenic transformation to T-ALL. Furthermore, this approach models leukemic transformation and progression in vivo by allowing for crosstalk between leukemia cells and the microenvironment, an aspect unaccounted for in cell-line based in vitro studies. Thus, the HSC transduction and transplantation model more faithfully recapitulates development of the human disease, providing a highly comprehensive and versatile tool for further in vivo and ex vivo functional studies.
0 Q&A 8451 Views Dec 5, 2017
Various genetic alterations such as chromosomal translocation cause leukemia. For examples, gene rearrangements of the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene generate MLL fusion genes, whose products are potent oncogenic drivers in acute leukemia. To better understand the mechanism of disease onset, several murine leukemia models using retroviral gene transduction, xenograft, or Cre-mediated chromosomal translocation have been developed over the past twenty years. Particularly, a retroviral gene transduction-mediated murine leukemia model has been frequently used in the leukemia research field. Here, we describe the detailed protocol for this model.

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