Network model of survival signaling in large granular lymphocyte leukemia

Ranran Zhang, Mithun Vinod Shah, Jun Yang, Susan B. Nyland, Xin Liu, Jong K. Yun, Réka Albert, Thomas P. Loughran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations


T cell large granular lymphocyte (T-LGL) leukemia features a clonal expansion of antigen-primed, competent, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). To systematically understand signaling components that determine the survival of CTL in T-LGL leukemia, we constructed a T-LGL survival signaling network by integrating the signaling pathways involved in normal CTL activation and the known deregulations of survival signaling in leukemic T-LGL. This network was subsequently translated into a predictive, discrete, dynamic model. Our model suggests that the persistence of IL-15 and PDGF is sufficient to reproduce all known deregulations in leukemic T-LGL. This finding leads to the following predictions: (i) Inhibiting PDGF signaling induces apoptosis in leukemic T-LGL. (ii) Sphingosine kinase 1 and NFκB are essential for the long-term survival of CTL in T-LGL leukemia. (iii) NFκB functions downstream of PI3K and prevents apoptosis through maintaining the expression of myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1. (iv) T box expressed in T cells (T-bet) should be constitutively activated concurrently with NFκB activation to reproduce the leukemic T-LGL phenotype. We validated these predictions experimentally. Our study provides a model describing the signaling network involved in maintaining the long-term survival of competent CTL in humans. The model will be useful in identifying potential therapeutic targets for T-LGL leukemia and generating long-term competent CTL necessary for tumor and cancer vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16308-16313
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 21 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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