CRLF2 expression associates with ICN1 stabilization in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Maciel ALT., Poubel CP., Noronha EP., Pombo-de-Oliveira MS., Mansur MB., Emerenciano M.
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematopoietic malignancy with few molecular alterations showing a consensual prognostic value. CRLF2 overexpression was recently identified in high-risk T-ALL patients. For these cases, no genomic abnormality was found to be associated with CRLF2 overexpression. IKZF1 has been recently shown to be a direct transcriptional regulator of CRLF2 expression. Moreover, it is known that NOTCH1 antagonizes IKZF1 in T-ALL. In light of these pieces of evidence, we reasoned that IKZF1 binding perturbation and CRLF2 upregulation could be associated in T-ALL. We evaluated two independent series of pediatric T-ALL cases (PHOP, n = 57 and TARGET, n = 264) for the presence of common T-ALL molecular abnormalities, such as NOTCH1/FBXW7 mutations. We also assessed CRLF2 and IKZF1 gene expression. CRLF2 overexpression was observed in 14% (PHOP) and 16% (TARGET) of T-ALL patients. No correlation was found between mRNA expression of CRLF2 and IKZF1 in both cohorts. Interestingly, we show that patients with mutations affecting NOTCH1-PEST domain and/or FBXW7 had higher CRLF2 expression (P = .04). In summary, we demonstrate for the first time that only mutations resulting in ICN1 (intracellular domain of NOTCH1) stabilization are associated with CRLF2 overexpression.