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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transcriptional activity of TAL1 in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) requires RBTN1 or -2 and induces TALLA1, a highly specific tumor marker of T-ALL.

TAL1, which is frequently activated in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), encodes lineage-specific basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins that bind specifically to E-box DNA motif upon dimerization with ubiquitous basic helix-loop-helix proteins E47 or E12. RBTN1 and RBTN2, also frequently activated in T-ALL, encode proteins only with tandem cysteine-rich LIM domains. We found that aberrant expression of TAL1 detected in 11 out of 14 T-ALL cell lines was invariably accompanied by that of either RBTN1 or RBTN2. Forced expression of TAL1 together with RBTN1 or RBTN2, but not TAL1 alone, strongly induced artificial reporter genes in a TAL1/RBTN-negative T-ALL cell line, HPB-ALL. Such collaborative transcriptional activity of TAL1 and RBTN was not, however, observed in non-T cell lines, suggesting further involvement of some T cell-specific cofactors. In this context, we carried out preliminary evaluation of a potential role of the T cell-specific GATA-binding protein, GATA3, in the transcriptional activity of TAL1 and RBTN. We also showed that coexpression of TAL1 and RBTN1 in HPB-ALL strongly induced TALLA1, a highly specific T-ALL marker whose positivity correlated 100% with ectopic expression of TAL1 among various T-ALL cell lines. Collectively, ectopic TAL1 and RBTN1 or -2, together with some endogenous T cell-specific cofactors like GATA3, constitute a highly collaborative set of transcription factors whose aberrant activity in T cells may lead to leukemogenesis by modulating expression of downstream genes such as TALLA1.[1]


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