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2773 Overexpression of hTLX3 in Association with Mutant IL7Rα Is Sufficient to Generate T-ALL In Vivo and to Transform Thymocytes in Vitro

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 603. Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Leukemia, ALL, Diseases, Lymphoid Malignancies
Monday, December 7, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Gisele Olinto Libanio Rodrigues, MSc1*, Julie Hixon1*, Hila Winer1*, Erica Matich1*, Caroline Andrews2*, Sarah Cramer3*, Wenqing Li1* and Scott Durum1*

1National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD
2Charles River Laboratories, Frederick
3StageBio company, Frederick, MD

Mutations of the IL-7Rα chain occur in approximately 10% of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases. While we have shown that mutant IL7Ra is sufficient to transform an immortalized thymocyte cell line, mutation of IL7Ra alone was insufficient to cause transformation of primary T cells, suggesting that additional genetic lesions may be present contributing to initiate leukemia. Studies addressing the combinations of mutant IL7Ra plus TLX3 overexpression indicates in vitro growth advantage, suggesting this gene as potential collaborative candidate. Furthermore, patients with mutated IL7R were more likely to have TLX3 or HOXA subgroup leukemia. We sought to determine whether combination of mutant hIL7Ra plus TLX3 overexpression is sufficient to generate T-cell leukemia in vivo. Double negative thymocytes were isolated from C57BL/6J mice and transduced with retroviral vectors containing mutant hIL7R plus hTLX3, or the genes alone. The combination mutant hIL7R wild type and hTLX3 was also tested. Transduced thymocytes were cultured on the OP9-DL4 bone marrow stromal cell line for 5-13 days and accessed for expression of transduced constructs and then injected into sublethally irradiated Rag-/- mice. Mice were euthanized at onset of clinical signs, and cells were immunophenotyped by flow cytometry. Thymocytes transduced with muthIL-7R-hTLX3 transformed to cytokine-independent growth and expanded over 30 days in the absence of all cytokines. Mice injected with muthIL7R-hTLX3 cells, but not the controls (wthIL7R-hTLX3 or mutIL7R alone) developed leukemia approximately 3 weeks post injection, characterized by GFP expressing T-cells in blood, spleen, liver, lymph nodes and bone marrow. Furthermore, leukemic mice had increased white blood cell counts and presented with splenomegaly. Phenotypic analysis revealed a higher CD4-CD8- T cell population in the blood, bone marrow, liver and spleen compared in the mutant hIL7R + hTLX3 mice compared with mice injected with mutant IL7R alone indicating that the resulting leukemia from the combination mutant hIL7R plus hTLX3 shows early arrest in T-cell development. Taken together, these data show that oncogenic IL7R activation is sufficient for cooperation with hTLX3 in ex vivo thymocyte cell transformation, and that cells expressing the combination muthIL7R-hTLX3 is sufficient to trigger T-cell leukemia in vivo.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH