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TNF Receptor-Associated Factor (TRAF) Domain and Bcl-2 Cooperate to Induce Small B Cell Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Transgenic Mice

Juan M. Zapata, Maryla Krajewska, Herbert C. Morse, III, Yongwon Choi, John C. Reed and Dennis A. Carson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 101, No. 47 (Nov. 23, 2004), pp. 16600-16605
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3373871
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
TNF Receptor-Associated Factor (TRAF) Domain and Bcl-2 Cooperate to Induce Small B Cell Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Transgenic Mice
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Abstract

Transgenic mice overexpressing in B lymphocytes either Bcl-2 or a TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF)2 mutant lacking the N-terminal RING and zinc finger domains located at the N terminus of the molecule (TRAF2DN), which mimics TRAF1, developed lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly due to polyclonal B cell expansion. Remarkably, TRAF2DN/Bcl-2 double-transgenic mice contained B cell populations similar to those observed in TRAF2DN mice. However, over time, they developed severe splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy, and most animals also developed leukemia, pleural effusion, and, in some cases, ascites associated with monoclonal and oligoclonal B cell neoplasms. The life span of TRAF2DN/Bcl-2 mice was markedly reduced compared with Bcl-2 and TRAF2DN single-transgenics or wild-type littermates. The expanded B cell population of TRAF2DN/Bcl-2 double-transgenic mice was primarily comprised of small/medium-size noncycling B220 M/ IgM H/ IgD L/ CD21 L/ CD23 NULL/ CD11 b+/ CD5+ cells that were Bcl-6-negative, consistent with a B-1 phenotype. The cells also expressed high levels of CD54 and other adhesion molecules. In vitro, these B cells showed comparable proliferation rates to those of wild-type counterparts but exhibited markedly increased survival and were resistant to apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic agents and glucocorticoids. Histopathologic features were consistent with mouse small B cell lymphoma progressing to leukemia with many similarities to human chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Given that many human chronic lymphocytic leukemias overexpress TRAF1 and Bcl-2, our findings suggest that cooperation between Bcl-2 and TRAF pathways contributes to the development of this type of leukemia.

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