ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-120327-4
Activated ALK Collaborates with MYCN in Neuroblastoma Pathogenesis
Zhu, S., Lee, J.S., Guo, F., Shin, J., Perez-Atayde, A.R., Kutok, J.L., Rodig, S.J., Neuberg, D.S., Helman, D., Feng, H., Stewart, R.A., Wang, W., George, R.E., Kanki, J.P., and Look, A.T.
Date: 2012
Source: Cancer Cell   21(3): 362-373 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Feng, Hui, George, Rani, Kanki, John, Lee, Jeong-Soo, Look, A. Thomas, Shin, Jimann, Stewart, Rodney A., Zhu, Shizhen
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuroblastoma/genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma/pathology
  • Nuclear Proteins/genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins/metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins/physiology*
  • Oncogene Proteins/genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins/metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins/physiology*
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/physiology*
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
PubMed: 22439933 Full text @ Cancer Cell

Amplification of the MYCN oncogene in childhood neuroblastoma is often accompanied by mutational activation of ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), suggesting their pathogenic cooperation. We generated a transgenic zebrafish model of neuroblastoma in which MYCN-induced tumors arise from a subpopulation of neuroblasts that migrate into the adrenal medulla analog following organogenesis. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN in this model triples the disease penetrance and markedly accelerates tumor onset. MYCN overexpression induces adrenal sympathetic neuroblast hyperplasia, blocks chromaffin cell differentiation, and ultimately triggers a developmentally-timed apoptotic response in the hyperplastic sympathoadrenal cells. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN provides prosurvival signals that block this apoptotic response and allow continued expansion and oncogenic transformation of hyperplastic neuroblasts, thus promoting progression to neuroblastoma.