Crucial role of the Rap G protein signal in Notch activation and leukemogenicity of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Keiko Doi, Takahiko Imai, Christopher Kressler, Hideo Yagita, Yasutoshi Agata, Marc Vooijs, Yoko Hamazaki, Joe Inoue, Nagahiro Minato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Rap G protein signal regulates Notch activation in early thymic progenitor cells, and deregulated Rap activation (Rap(high)) results in the development of Notch-dependent T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). We demonstrate that the Rap signal is required for the proliferation and leukemogenesis of established Notch-dependent T-ALL cell lines. Attenuation of the Rap signal by the expression of a dominant-negative Rap1A17 or Rap1GAP, Sipa1, in a T-ALL cell line resulted in the reduced Notch processing at site 2 due to impaired maturation of Adam10. Inhibition of the Rap1 prenylation with a geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitor abrogated its membrane-anchoring to Golgi-network and caused reduced proprotein convertase activity required for Adam10 maturation. Exogenous expression of a mature form of Adam10 overcame the Sipa1-induced inhibition of T-ALL cell proliferation. T-ALL cell lines expressed Notch ligands in a Notch-signal dependent manner, which contributed to the cell-autonomous Notch activation. Although the initial thymic blast cells barely expressed Notch ligands during the T-ALL development from Rap(high) hematopoietic progenitors in vivo, the ligands were clearly expressed in the T-ALL cells invading extrathymic vital organs. These results reveal a crucial role of the Rap signal in the Notch-dependent T-ALL development and the progression.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7978
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2015

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