CUTLL1, a novel human T-cell lymphoma cell line with t(7;9) rearrangement, aberrant NOTCH1 activation and high sensitivity to c-secretase inhibitors

Palomero, Teresa; Barnes, K. C.; Real, P. J.; Glade Bender, Julia L.; Sulis, Maria-Luisa; Vundavalli, Murty V.; Colovai, Adriana I.; Balbin, M.; Ferrando, Adolfo A.

Activating mutations in NOTCH1 are present in over 50% of human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) samples and inhibition of NOTCH1 signaling with c-secretase inhibitors (GSI) has emerged as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this disease. Here, we report a new human T-cell lymphoma line CUTLL1, which expresses high levels of activated NOTCH1 and is extremely sensitive to c-secretase inhibitors treatment. CUTLL1 cells harbor a t(7;9)(q34;q34) translocation which induces the expression of a TCRB-NOTCH1 fusion transcript encoding a membrane-bound truncated form of the NOTCH1 receptor. GSI treatment of CUTLL1 cells blocked NOTCH1 processing and caused rapid clearance of activated intracellular NOTCH1. Loss of NOTCH1 activity induced a gene expression signature characterized by the downregulation of NOTCH1 target genes such as HES1 and NOTCH3. In contrast with most human T-ALL cell lines with activating mutations in NOTCH1, CUTLL1 cells showed a robust cellular phenotype upon GSI treatment characterized by G1 cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis. These results show that the CUTLL1 cell line has a strong dependence on NOTCH1 signaling for proliferation and survival and supports that T-ALL patients whose tumors harbor t(7;9) should be included in clinical trials testing the therapeutic efficacy NOTCH1 inhibition with GSIs. Leukemia (2006) 20, 1279–1287. doi:10.1038/sj.leu.2404258; published online 11 May 2006


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Academic Units
Institute for Cancer Genetics
Pathology and Cell Biology
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January 15, 2020