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3922 Cooperation between SYK and ZAP70 Kinases As a Driver of Oncogenic BCR-Signaling in B-Cell Malignancies

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 603. Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Diseases, Leukemia, ALL, CLL, Lymphoma (any), B-Cell Lymphoma, Lymphoid Malignancies
Monday, December 3, 2018, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Hall GH (San Diego Convention Center)

Teresa Sadras, PhD1*, Jevon Cutler2*, Julia Aguade-Gorgorio, PhD1*, Zhengshan Chen, MD-PhD1*, Kadriye Nehir Cosgun, PhD1*, Akhilesh Pandey, MD, PhD3* and Markus Muschen, MD1,4,5

1Department of Systems Biology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Monrovia, CA
2Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
3Johns Hopkins University McKusick-Nathans Inst. of Genetic Med., Baltimore, MD
4Department of Systems Biology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Monrovia CA, Monrovia, CA
5Department of Systems Biology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Monrovia CA, San Francisco, CA

The spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) and ΞΆ-associated protein of 70 kD (ZAP70) tyrosine kinases play critical roles in proximal signal transduction of B-cell (BCR) and T-cell receptors (TCR), respectively. The highly similar SYK and ZAP70 kinases share a common structure composed of two tandem SH2 domains and a carboxy-terminal kinase domain. A linker region, termed interdomain B, connects the SH2 domains to the kinase domain and is important for kinase activation. Despite their conserved structure, SYK and ZAP70 are expressed in a largely mutually exclusive manner and play analogous roles in BCR- and TCR-signaling.

Cross-lineage activation of ZAP70 in B cells was previously identified in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which is characterized by clonal accumulation of malignant CD5+ B-cell cells that retain dependency on the BCR for survival signals. Nearly half of CLL cases show co-expression of SYK and ZAP70, and these patients have an aggressive disease course and a poor prognosis.

Our analysis shows that in addition to CLL, aberrant ZAP70 expression occurs in other B-cell malignancies, e.g. TCF3-PBX1 pre-B ALL and B-cell lymphoma subsets that depend on survival signals from a functional (pre-) BCR. These findings suggest that interactions between SYK and ZAP70 may function to fine-tune strength of oncogenic BCR-signaling.

To test this hypothesis, we have used a combination of molecular and proteomic approaches. We studied mechanisms by which ZAP70 integrates into BCR-mediated signals, and how the function of ZAP70 in B-cells differs from its native role downstream of the TCR. We demonstrate that ectopically expressed SYK and ZAP70 proteins are constitutively phosphorylated in BCR-ABL1+ B-ALL cells, but these induce distinctive signaling thresholds. CRISPR-mediated deletion of SYK or ZAP70 in leukemic cells further revealed that SYK and ZAP70 regulate unique signaling pathways in B-cells.

We also demonstrate that ZAP70 is activated following BCR stimulation of lymphoma cells, and SYK/ZAP70 co-expressing cells display enhanced BCR signaling. Interestingly, enhanced BCR signaling was also observed in cells engineered to express an alternative splice variant of SYK (SYK-S). This shorter isoform of SYK, lacks a 23 amino-acid insert in the interdomain-B linker region, which is also absent in ZAP70, and may define unique protein-interactions that modulate signaling outcome. To elucidate the differential interactome of SYK, SYK-S, and ZAP70 we performed proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID) experiments in B-cells following BCR-activation to capture the core signalling networks of these kinases in leukemic cells. In addition to expected BCR components including BLNK, PTPN6 and CBL we identified novel SYK and ZAP70 associated molecules including IKZF3, LAT2 and WAS which may play important roles in the survival of BCR-dependent malignancies. Importantly our findings highlight a role for ZAP70 in oncogenic BCR-signaling and suggest that ZAP70 promotes oncogenic BCR-signaling by limiting the ability of the BCR to induce negative B-cell selection and cell death.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH