The Lnk (Sh2b3) adaptor protein dampens the response of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors (HSPCs) to a variety of cytokines by inhibiting JAK2 signaling. As a consequence, Lnk(-/-) mice develop hematopoietic hyperplasia, which progresses to a phenotype resembling the nonacute phase of myeloproliferative neoplasm. In addition, Lnk mutations have been identified in human myeloproliferative neoplasms and acute leukemia. We find that Lnk suppresses the development of radiation-induced acute B-cell malignancies in mice. Lnk-deficient HSPCs recover more effectively from irradiation than their wild-type counterparts, and this resistance of Lnk(-/-) HSPCs to radiation underlies the subsequent emergence of leukemia. A search for the mechanism responsible for radiation resistance identified the cytokine IL-11 as being critical for the ability of Lnk(-/-) HSPCs to recover from irradiation and subsequently become leukemic. In IL-11 signaling, wild-type Lnk suppresses tyrosine phosphorylation of the Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2/protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 11 and its association with the growth factor receptor-bound protein 2, as well as activation of the Erk MAP kinase pathway. Indeed, Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 has a binding motif for the Lnk Src Homology 2 domain that is phosphorylated in response to IL-11 stimulation. IL-11 therefore drives a pathway that enhances HSPC radioresistance and radiation-induced B-cell malignancies, but is normally attenuated by the inhibitory adaptor Lnk.
Keywords: cancer; gp130; lymphoma; survival.