Inhibition of Rac controls NPM-ALK-dependent lymphoma development and dissemination

Blood Cancer J. 2011 Jun;1(6):e21. doi: 10.1038/bcj.2011.19. Epub 2011 Jun 3.


Nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK) is a tyrosine kinase oncogene responsible for the pathogenesis of the majority of human ALK-positive lymphomas. We recently reported that it activated the Rac1 GTPase in anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), leading to Rac-dependent formation of active invadopodia required for invasiveness. Herein, we went further into the study of this pathway and used the inhibitor of Rac, NSC23766, to validate its potential as a molecular target in ALCL in vitro and in vivo in a xenograft model and in a conditional model of NPM-ALK transgenic mice. Our data demonstrate that Rac regulates important effectors of NPM-ALK-induced transformation such as Erk1/2, p38 and Akt. Moreover, inhibition of Rac signaling abrogates NPM-ALK-elicited disease progression and metastasis in mice, highlighting the potential of small GTPases and their regulators as additional therapic targets in lymphomas.