The nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusion protein induces c-Myc expression in pediatric anaplastic large cell lymphomas

Elizabeth A. Raetz, Sherrie L. Perkins, Marlee A. Carlson, Kevin P. Schooler, William L. Carroll, David M. Virshup

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The majority of pediatric anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs) carry the t(2;5)(p23;q35) chromosomal translocation that juxtaposes the dimerization domain of nucleophosmin with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). The nucleophosmin-ALK fusion induces constitutive, ligand-independent activation of the ALK tyrosine kinase leading to aberrant activation of cellular signaling pathways. To study the early consequences of ectopic ALK activation, a GyrB-ALK fusion was constructed that allowed regulated dimerization with the addition of coumermycin. Expression of the fusion protein caused a coumermycin-dependent increase in cellular tyrosine phosphorylation and c-Myc immunoreactivity, which was paralleled by a rise in c-myc RNA. To assess the clinical relevance of this observation, c-Myc expression was determined in pediatric ALK-positive and -negative lymphomas. Co-expression of c-Myc and ALK was seen in tumor cells in 15 of 15 (100%) ALK-positive ALCL samples, whereas no expression of either ALK or c-Myc was seen in six of six cases of ALK-negative T-cell lymphoma. C-Myc may be a downstream target of ALK signaling and its expression a defining characteristic of ALK-positive ALCLs i.e.,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-883
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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