Downregulating Notch counteracts KrasG12D-induced ERK activation and oxidative phosphorylation in myeloproliferative neoplasm.


National Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Biodiagnostics and Biotherapy, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, China. [Email]


The Notch signaling pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of a wide spectrum of human cancers, including hematopoietic malignancies. Its functions are highly dependent on the specific cellular context. Gain-of-function NOTCH1 mutations are prevalent in human T-cell leukemia, while loss of Notch signaling is reported in myeloid leukemias. Here, we report a novel oncogenic function of Notch signaling in oncogenic Kras-induced myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). We find that downregulation of Notch signaling in hematopoietic cells via DNMAML expression or Pofut1 deletion significantly blocks MPN development in KrasG12D mice in a cell-autonomous manner. Further mechanistic studies indicate that inhibition of Notch signaling upregulates Dusp1, a dual phosphatase that inactivates p-ERK, and downregulates cytokine-evoked ERK activation in KrasG12D cells. Moreover, mitochondrial metabolism is greatly enhanced in KrasG12D cells but significantly reprogrammed by DNMAML close to that in control cells. Consequently, cell proliferation and expanded myeloid compartment in KrasG12D mice are significantly reduced. Consistent with these findings, combined inhibition of the MEK/ERK pathway and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation effectively inhibited the growth of human and mouse leukemia cells in vitro. Our study provides a strong rational to target both ERK signaling and aberrant metabolism in oncogenic Ras-driven myeloid leukemia.