Heat shock protein 70 regulates Tcl1 expression in leukemia and lymphomas

Eugenio Gaudio, Francesco Paduano, Apollinaire Ngankeu, Francesca Lovat, Muller Fabbri, Hui Lung Sun, Pierluigi Gasparini, Alexey Efanov, Yong Peng, Nicola Zanesi, Mohammed A. Shuaib, Laura Z. Rassenti, Thomas J. Kipps, Chenglong Li, Rami I. Aqeilan, Gregory B. Lesinski, Francesco Trapasso, Carlo M. Croce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 (TCL1) is an oncogene overexpressed in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia and in B-cell malignancies including B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphomas. To date, only a limited number of Tcl1-interacting proteins that regulate its oncogenic function have been identified. Prior studies used a proteomic approach to identify a novel interaction between Tcl1 with Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated. The association of Tcl1 and Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated leads to activation of the NF-κB pathway. Here, we demonstrate that Tcl1 also interacts with heat shock protein (Hsp) 70. The Tcl1-Hsp70 complex was validated by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. In addition, we report that Hsp70, a protein that plays a critical role in the folding and maturation of several oncogenic proteins, associates with Tcl1 protein and stabilizes its expression. The inhibition of the ATPase activity of Hsp70 results in ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation of Tcl1. The inhibition of Hsp70 significantly reduced the growth of lymphoma xenografts in vivo and down-regulated the expression of Tcl1 protein. Our findings reveal a functional interaction between Tcl1 and Hsp70 and identify Tcl1 as a novel Hsp70 client protein. These findings suggest that inhibition of Hsp70 may represent an alternative effective therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphomas via its ability to inhibit the oncogenic functions of Tcl1.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2013


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