Gene Summary

Gene:RAG1; recombination activating 1
Aliases: RAG-1, RNF74
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is involved in activation of immunoglobulin V-D-J recombination. The encoded protein is involved in recognition of the DNA substrate, but stable binding and cleavage activity also requires RAG2. Defects in this gene can be the cause of several diseases. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:V(D)J recombination-activating protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (23)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Adolescents
  • p53 Protein
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Deletion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • T-Cell Leukemia
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Translocation
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Alleles
  • Genetic Markers
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Genetic Recombination
  • DNA Repair
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome 11
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Transfection
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Genes, RAG-1
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • T-Cell Lymphoma
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • DNA
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Knockout Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Leukaemia
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: RAG1 (cancer-related)

Li S, Yuan Y, Xiao H, et al.
Discovery and validation of DNA methylation markers for overall survival prognosis in patients with thymic epithelial tumors.
Clin Epigenetics. 2019; 11(1):38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The current prognosis of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) is according to the World Health Organization (WHO) histologic classification and the Masaoka staging system. These methods of prognosis have certain limitations in clinical application and there is a need to seek new method for determining the prognosis of patients with TETs. To date, there have been no studies done on the use of DNA methylation biomarkers for prognosis of TETs. The present study was therefore carried out to identify DNA methylation biomarkers that can determine the overall survival in patients with TETs.
METHODS: Bioinformatic analysis of TCGA 450 K methylation array data, transcriptome sequencing data, WHO histologic classification and Masaoka staging system was performed to identify differentially expressed methylation sites between thymoma and thymic carcinoma as well as the different DNA methylation sites associated with the overall survival in patients with TETs. Using pyrosequencing, 4 different methylation sites (cg05784862, cg07154254, cg02543462, and cg06288355) were sequenced from tumor tissues of 100 Chinese patients with TETs. A prognostic model for TETs was constructed using these four methylation sites.
RESULTS: The TCGA dataset showed 5155 and 6967 hyper- and hypomethylated CpG sites in type A-B3 group and type C group, respectively, of which 3600 were located within the gene promoter regions. One hundred thirty-four genes were silenced by promoter hypermethylation and 174 mRNAs were upregulated. Analysis of univariate and multivariate Cox regression showed significant association between the methylation levels of 187 sites and the overall survival in patients with TETs. cg05784862(KSR1), cg07154254(ELF3), cg02543462(ILRN), and cg06288355(RAG1) were identified as independent prognostic factors for overall survival in patients with TETs after adjusting for Masaoka staging in 100 Chinese patients. The prognostic model which consists of the four abovementioned genes had higher accuracy for predicting the 5-year overall survival in patients with TETs as compared to the Masaoka clinical staging. (Time-dependent ROC analysis AUC 1.000 vs 0.742, P = 2.7 × 10
CONCLUSIONS: The methylation levels of cg05784862(KSR1), cg07154254(ELF3), cg02543462(ILRN), and cg06288355(RAG1) sites are associated with the progression of TETs and may serve as new biomarkers for predicting the overall survival in patients with TETs.

Barve A, Casson L, Krem M, et al.
Comparative utility of NRG and NRGS mice for the study of normal hematopoiesis, leukemogenesis, and therapeutic response.
Exp Hematol. 2018; 67:18-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Cell-line-derived xenografts (CDXs) or patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) in immune-deficient mice have revolutionized our understanding of normal and malignant human hematopoiesis. Transgenic approaches further improved in vivo hematological research, allowing the development of human-cytokine-producing mice, which show superior human cell engraftment. The most popular mouse strains used in research, the NOG (NOD.Cg-Prkdc

Greaves M
A causal mechanism for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2018; 18(8):471-484 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this Review, I present evidence supporting a multifactorial causation of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a major subtype of paediatric cancer. ALL evolves in two discrete steps. First, in utero initiation by fusion gene formation or hyperdiploidy generates a covert, pre-leukaemic clone. Second, in a small fraction of these cases, the postnatal acquisition of secondary genetic changes (primarily V(D)J recombination-activating protein (RAG) and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID)-driven copy number alterations in the case of ETS translocation variant 6 (ETV6)-runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1)

Lin H, Wei S, Hurt EM, et al.
Host expression of PD-L1 determines efficacy of PD-L1 pathway blockade-mediated tumor regression.
J Clin Invest. 2018; 128(2):805-815 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Programmed death-1 receptor (PD-L1, B7-H1) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway blockade is a promising therapy for treating cancer. However, the mechanistic contribution of host and tumor PD-L1 and PD-1 signaling to the therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 and PD-1 blockade remains elusive. Here, we evaluated 3 tumor-bearing mouse models that differ in their sensitivity to PD-L1 blockade and demonstrated a loss of therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 blockade in immunodeficient mice and in PD-L1- and PD-1-deficient mice. In contrast, neither knockout nor overexpression of PD-L1 in tumor cells had an effect on PD-L1 blockade efficacy. Human and murine studies showed high levels of functional PD-L1 expression in dendritic cells and macrophages in the tumor microenvironments and draining lymph nodes. Additionally, expression of PD-L1 on dendritic cells and macrophages in ovarian cancer and melanoma patients correlated with the efficacy of treatment with either anti-PD-1 alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4. Thus, PD-L1-expressing dendritic cells and macrophages may mechanistically shape and therapeutically predict clinical efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockade.

Zhang Q, Helfand BT, Carneiro BA, et al.
Efficacy Against Human Prostate Cancer by Prostate-specific Membrane Antigen-specific, Transforming Growth Factor-β Insensitive Genetically Targeted CD8
Eur Urol. 2018; 73(5):648-652 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Current immunotherapy has limited efficacy on metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). We therefore sought to improve the antitumor ability of mCRPC patient-derived CD8
PATIENT SUMMARY: We investigated the role of a novel chimeric antigen receptor T-immunotherapy based on autologous metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer patient-derived prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-specific, transforming growth factor-ß insensitive CD8

Furfari A, Wan BA, Ding K, et al.
Genetic biomarkers associated with response to palliative radiotherapy in patients with painful bone metastases.
Ann Palliat Med. 2017; 6(Suppl 2):S233-S239 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Palliative radiotherapy (RT) is effective in patients with painful bone metastases. Genetic factors may identify subgroup of patients who responded to RT. To identify DNA biomarkers associated with response to palliative RT.
METHODS: Patients who received a single 8 Gy dose of RT for painful bone metastases were categorised into responders (n=36), non-responders (NR) (n=71). Saliva samples were sequenced to identify single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in genes with known disease-causing variants from inflammation, radiation response, and DNA damage pathways. In univariate analysis, Cochran-Armitage trend tests were used to identify SNVs that associated with pain response (P<0.005), and the Penalized LASSO method with minimum Bayesian Information Criterion was used to identify multi-SNVs that jointly predict pain response to RT. The corresponding estimated effect of the multi-SNVs were used to drive the prognostic score for each patient. Based on it, patients were divided into 3 equal size risk groups.
RESULTS: Forty-one significant variants were identified in univariate analysis. Multivariable analysis selected 14 variants to generate prognostic scores, adjusting for gender and primary cancer site. Eighty-nine percent of patients in the high prognostic group responded to palliative radiation therapy (P=0.0001). Estimated effect sizes of the variants ranged from 0.108-2.551. The most statistically significant variant was a deletion at position 111992032 in the ataxin gene ATXN2 (P=0.0001). Five variants were non-synonymous, including AOAH rs7986 (P=0.0017), ZAN rs539445 (P=0.00078) and rs542137 (P=0.00078), RAG1 rs3740955 (P=0.0014), and GBGT1 rs75765336 (P=0.0026).
CONCLUSIONS: SNVs involved in mechanisms including DNA repair, inflammation, cellular adhesion, and cell signalling have significant associations with radiation response. SNVs with predictive power may stratify patient populations according to likelihood of responding to treatment, therefore enabling more efficient identification of beneficial strategies for pain management and improved resource utilisation.

Rodríguez-Hernández G, Hauer J, Martín-Lorenzo A, et al.
Infection Exposure Promotes
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(16):4365-4377 [PubMed] Related Publications

Germini D, Tsfasman T, Klibi M, et al.
HIV Tat induces a prolonged MYC relocalization next to IGH in circulating B-cells.
Leukemia. 2017; 31(11):2515-2522 [PubMed] Related Publications
With combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), the risk for HIV-infected individuals to develop a non-Hodgkin lymphoma is diminished. However, the incidence of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) remains strikingly elevated. Most BL present a t(8;14) chromosomal translocation which must take place at a time of spatial proximity between the translocation partners. The two partner genes, MYC and IGH, were found colocalized only very rarely in the nuclei of normal peripheral blood B-cells examined using 3D-FISH while circulating B-cells from HIV-infected individuals whose exhibited consistently elevated levels of MYC-IGH colocalization. In vitro, incubating normal B-cells from healthy donors with a transcriptionally active form of the HIV-encoded Tat protein rapidly activated transcription of the nuclease-encoding RAG1 gene. This created DNA damage, including in the MYC gene locus which then moved towards the center of the nucleus where it sustainably colocalized with IGH up to 10-fold more frequently than in controls. In vivo, this could be sufficient to account for the elevated risk of BL-specific chromosomal translocations which would occur following DNA double strand breaks triggered by AID in secondary lymph nodes at the final stage of immunoglobulin gene maturation. New therapeutic attitudes can be envisioned to prevent BL in this high risk group.

Bao L, Al-Assar O, Drynan LF, et al.
A non-cell autonomous mouse model of CNS haemangioblastoma mediated by mutant KRAS.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:44899 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Haemangioblastoma is a rare malignancy of the CNS where vascular proliferation causes lesions due to endothelial propagation. We found that conditionally expressing mutant Kras, using Rag1-Cre, gave rise to CNS haemangioblastoma in the cortex and cerebellum in mice that present with highly vascular tumours with stromal cells similar to human haemangioblastomas. The aberrant haemangioblastoma endothelial cells do not express mutant Kras but rather the mutant oncogene is expressed in CNS interstitial cells, including neuronal cells and progeny. This demonstrates a non-cell autonomous origin of this disease that is unexpectedly induced via Rag1-Cre expression in CNS interstitial cells. This is the first time that mutant RAS has been shown to stimulate non-cell autonomous proliferation in malignancy and suggests that mutant RAS can control endothelial cell proliferation in neo-vascularisation when expressed in certain cells.

Guo X, Zhao Y, Yan H, et al.
Single tumor-initiating cells evade immune clearance by recruiting type II macrophages.
Genes Dev. 2017; 31(3):247-259 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Tumor infiltrated type II (M2) macrophages promote tumorigenesis by suppressing immune clearance, promoting proliferation, and stimulating angiogenesis. Interestingly, macrophages were also found to enrich in small foci of altered hepatocytes containing liver tumor-initiating cells (TICs). However, whether and how TICs specifically recruit macrophages and the function of these macrophages in tumor initiation remain unknown due to technical difficulties. In this study, by generating genetically defined liver TICs, we demonstrate that TICs actively recruit M2 macrophages from as early as the single-cell stage. Elimination of TIC-associated macrophages (TICAMs) abolishes tumorigenesis in a manner dependent on the immune system. Mechanistically, activation of the Hippo pathway effector Yes-associated protein (YAP) underlies macrophage recruitment by TICs. These results demonstrate for the first time that macrophages play a decisive role in the survival of single TICs in vivo and provide a proof of principle for TIC elimination by targeting YAP or M2 macrophages.

Lin Y, Yang X, Liu W, et al.
Chemerin has a protective role in hepatocellular carcinoma by inhibiting the expression of IL-6 and GM-CSF and MDSC accumulation.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(25):3599-3608 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is linked to inflammation and immunosuppression. Chemerin is highly expressed in the liver and implicated in the regulation of inflammation. However, the role of chemerin in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether chemerin is able to influence HCC progression by regulating tumor-associated inflammation. Here we demonstrated that chemerin significantly decreased in blood and tumor tissues of HCC patients, and tumor chemerin levels were inversely associated with the prognosis. In an orthotopic mouse model of HCC, Rarres2

McCool C, Spinks-Franklin A, Noroski LM, Potocki L
Potocki-Shaffer syndrome in a child without intellectual disability-The role of PHF21A in cognitive function.
Am J Med Genet A. 2017; 173(3):716-720 [PubMed] Related Publications
Potocki-Shaffer syndrome is a contiguous gene deletion syndrome involving 11p11.2p12 and characterized by multiple exostoses, biparietal foramina, genitourinary anomalies in males, central nervous system abnormalities, intellectual disability, and craniofacial abnormalities. Current literature implicates haploinsufficiency of three genes (ALX4, EXT2, and PHF21A) in causing some of the cardinal features of PSS. We report a patient with multiple exostoses, biparietal foramina, and history of mild developmental delay. Cognitive and behavioral testing supported formal diagnoses of anxiety, verbal dyspraxia, articulation disorder, and coordination disorder, without intellectual disability. His facial features, though distinctive, were not typical of those observed in PSS. As the chromosomal deletion does not encompass PHF21A, this case lends further support that haploinsufficiency of PHF21A contributes to the intellectual disability and craniofacial abnormalities in PSS and that there are other genes in the region which likely contribute to the behavioral phenotype in this syndrome. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Jeong JH, Park SJ, Dickinson SI, Luo JL
A Constitutive Intrinsic Inflammatory Signaling Circuit Composed of miR-196b, Meis2, PPP3CC, and p65 Drives Prostate Cancer Castration Resistance.
Mol Cell. 2017; 65(1):154-167 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Androgen deprivation therapy is the most effective treatment for advanced prostate cancer, but almost all cancer eventually becomes castration resistant, and the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that an intrinsic constitutively activated feedforward signaling circuit composed of IκBα/NF-κB(p65), miR-196b-3p, Meis2, and PPP3CC is formed during the emergence of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This circuit controls the expression of stem cell transcription factors that drives the high tumorigenicity of CRPC cells. Interrupting the circuit by targeting its individual components significantly impairs the tumorigenicity and CRPC development. Notably, constitutive activation of IκBα/NF-κB(p65) in this circuit is not dependent on the activation of traditional IKKβ/NF-κB pathways that are important in normal immune responses. Therefore, our studies present deep insight into the bona fide mechanisms underlying castration resistance and provide the foundation for the development of CRPC therapeutic strategies that would be highly efficient while avoiding indiscriminate IKK/NF-κB inhibition in normal cells.

O'Neill AM, Burrington CM, Gillaspie EA, et al.
High-fat Western diet-induced obesity contributes to increased tumor growth in mouse models of human colon cancer.
Nutr Res. 2016; 36(12):1325-1334 [PubMed] Related Publications
Strong epidemiologic evidence links colon cancer to obesity. The increasing worldwide incidence of colon cancer has been linked to the spread of the Western lifestyle, and in particular consumption of a high-fat Western diet. In this study, our objectives were to establish mouse models to examine the effects of high-fat Western diet-induced obesity on the growth of human colon cancer tumor xenografts, and to examine potential mechanisms driving obesity-linked human colon cancer tumor growth. We hypothesize that mice rendered insulin resistant due to consumption of a high-fat Western diet will show increased and accelerated tumor growth. Homozygous Rag1

Wolf I, Bouquet C, Melchers F
cDNA-library testing identifies transforming genes cooperating with c-myc in mouse pre-B cells.
Eur J Immunol. 2016; 46(11):2555-2565 [PubMed] Related Publications
While c-myc often contributes to the generation of B cell transformation, its transgenic overexpression alone does not lead to full transformation of B-lineage cells. Synergistically acting second genes must cooperate. Here, we constructed doxycycline-inducible cDNA-libraries from pre-B cell mRNA. These libraries were retrovirally transduced as single copies into single cells and overexpressed in fetal-liver-derived c-myc-overexpressing pre-B cell lines. We scored transformation by survival and/or expansion of differentiating B-lineage cells in vitro and in vivo. Only one double c-myc/cDNA-library-expressing cell line was found in less than 5 × 10

Carroll VA, Lafferty MK, Marchionni L, et al.
Expression of HIV-1 matrix protein p17 and association with B-cell lymphoma in HIV-1 transgenic mice.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(46):13168-13173 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
HIV-1 infection is associated with increased risk for B-cell lymphomas. How HIV infection promotes the development of lymphoma is unclear, but it may involve chronic B-cell activation, inflammation, and/or impaired immunity, possibly leading to a loss of control of oncogenic viruses and reduced tumor immunosurveillance. We hypothesized that HIV structural proteins may contribute to lymphomagenesis directly, because they can persist long term in lymph nodes in the absence of viral replication. The HIV-1 transgenic mouse Tg26 carries a noninfectious HIV-1 provirus lacking part of the gag-pol region, thus constituting a model for studying the effects of viral products in pathogenesis. Approximately 15% of Tg26 mice spontaneously develop leukemia/lymphoma. We investigated which viral proteins are associated with the development of leukemia/lymphoma in the Tg26 mouse model, and performed microarray analysis on RNA from spleen and lymph nodes to identify potential mechanisms of lymphomagenesis. Of the viral proteins examined, only expression of HIV-1 matrix protein p17 was associated with leukemia/lymphoma development and was highly expressed in bone marrow before disease. The tumor cells resembled pro-B cells, and were CD19

Zelenko Z, Gallagher EJ, Antoniou IM, et al.
EMT reversal in human cancer cells after IR knockdown in hyperinsulinemic mice.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2016; 23(9):747-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with increased cancer risk and cancer-related mortality. Data herein show that we generated an immunodeficient hyperinsulinemic mouse by crossing the Rag1(-/-) mice, which have no mature B or T lymphocytes, with the MKR mouse model of T2D to generate the Rag1(-/-) (Rag/WT) and Rag1(-/-)/MKR(+/+) (Rag/MKR) mice. The female Rag/MKR mice are insulin resistant and have significantly higher nonfasting plasma insulin levels compared with the Rag/WT controls. Therefore, we used these Rag/MKR mice to investigate the role of endogenous hyperinsulinemia on human cancer progression. In this study, we show that hyperinsulinemia in the Rag/MKR mice increases the expression of mesenchymal transcription factors, TWIST1 and ZEB1, and increases the expression of the angiogenesis marker, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA). We also show that silencing the insulin receptor (IR) in the human LCC6 cancer cells leads to decreased tumor growth and metastases, suppression of mesenchymal markers vimentin, SLUG, TWIST1 and ZEB1, suppression of angiogenesis markers, VEGFA and VEGFD, and re-expression of the epithelial marker, E-cadherin. The data in this paper demonstrate that IR knockdown in primary tumors partially reverses the growth-promoting effects of hyperinsulinemia as well as highlighting the importance of the insulin receptor signaling pathway in cancer progression, and more specifically in epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Heinäniemi M, Vuorenmaa T, Teppo S, et al.
Transcription-coupled genetic instability marks acute lymphoblastic leukemia structural variation hotspots.
Elife. 2016; 5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Progression of malignancy to overt disease requires multiple genetic hits. Activation-induced deaminase (AID) can drive lymphomagenesis by generating off-target DNA breaks at loci that harbor highly active enhancers and display convergent transcription. The first active transcriptional profiles from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients acquired here reveal striking similarity at structural variation (SV) sites. Specific transcriptional features, namely convergent transcription and Pol2 stalling, were detected at breakpoints. The overlap was most prominent at SV with recognition motifs for the recombination activating genes (RAG). We present signal feature analysis to detect vulnerable regions and quantified from human cells how convergent transcription contributes to R-loop generation and RNA polymerase stalling. Wide stalling regions were characterized by high DNAse hypersensitivity and unusually broad H3K4me3 signal. Based on 1382 pre-B-ALL patients, the ETV6-RUNX1 fusion positive patients had over ten-fold elevation in RAG1 while high expression of AID marked pre-B-ALL lacking common cytogenetic changes.

Di Scala M, Gil-Fariña I, Olagüe C, et al.
Identification of IFN-γ-producing T cells as the main mediators of the side effects associated to mouse interleukin-15 sustained exposure.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(31):49008-49026 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a cell growth-factor that regulates lymphocyte function and homeostasis. Its strong immunostimulatory activity coupled with an apparent lack of toxicity makes IL-15 an exciting candidate for cancer therapy, somehow limited by its short half-life in circulation. To increase IL-15 bioavailability we constructed a recombinant adeno-associated vector expressing murine IL-15 (AAV-mIL15) in the liver. Mice injected with AAV-mIL15 showed sustained and vector dose-dependent levels of IL-15/IL-15Rα complexes in serum, production of IFN-γ and activation of CD8+ T-cells and macrophages. The antitumoral efficacy of AAV-mIL15 was tested in a mouse model of metastatic colorectal cancer established by injection of MC38 cells. AAV-mIL15 treatment slightly inhibits MC38 tumor-growth and significantly increases the survival of mice. However, mIL-15 sustained expression was associated with development of side effects like hepatosplenomegaly, liver damage and the development of haematological stress, which results in the expansion of hematopoietic precursors in the bone marrow. To elucidate the mechanism, we treated IFN-γ receptor-, RAG1-, CD1d- and µMT-deficient mice and performed adoptive transfer of bone marrow cells from WT mice to RAG1-defcient mice. We demonstrated that the side effects of murine IL-15 administration were mainly mediated by IFN-γ-producing T-cells.
CONCLUSIONS: IL-15 induces the activation and survival of effector immune cells that are necessary for its antitumoral activity; but, long-term exposure to IL-15 is associated with the development of important side effects mainly mediated by IFN-γ-producing T-cells. Strategies to modulate T-cell activation should be combined with IL-15 administration to reduce secondary adverse events while maintaining its antitumoral effect.

Hunter ZR, Xu L, Yang G, et al.
Transcriptome sequencing reveals a profile that corresponds to genomic variants in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
Blood. 2016; 128(6):827-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Whole-genome sequencing has identified highly prevalent somatic mutations including MYD88, CXCR4, and ARID1A in Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). The impact of these and other somatic mutations on transcriptional regulation in WM remains to be clarified. We performed next-generation transcriptional profiling in 57 WM patients and compared findings to healthy donor B cells. Compared with healthy donors, WM patient samples showed greatly enhanced expression of the VDJ recombination genes DNTT, RAG1, and RAG2, but not AICDA Genes related to CXCR4 signaling were also upregulated and included CXCR4, CXCL12, and VCAM1 regardless of CXCR4 mutation status, indicating a potential role for CXCR4 signaling in all WM patients. The WM transcriptional profile was equally dissimilar to healthy memory B cells and circulating B cells likely due increased differentiation rather than cellular origin. The profile for CXCR4 mutations corresponded to diminished B-cell differentiation and suppression of tumor suppressors upregulated by MYD88 mutations in a manner associated with the suppression of TLR4 signaling relative to those mutated for MYD88 alone. Promoter methylation studies of top findings failed to explain this suppressive effect but identified aberrant methylation patterns in MYD88 wild-type patients. CXCR4 and MYD88 transcription were negatively correlated, demonstrated allele-specific transcription bias, and, along with CXCL13, were associated with bone marrow disease involvement. Distinct gene expression profiles for patients with wild-type MYD88, mutated ARID1A, familial predisposition to WM, chr6q deletions, chr3q amplifications, and trisomy 4 are also described. The findings provide novel insights into the molecular pathogenesis and opportunities for targeted therapeutic strategies for WM.

Dong Y, Liu F, Wu C, et al.
Illegitimate RAG-mediated recombination events are involved in IKZF1 Δ3-6 deletion in BCR-ABL1 lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2016; 185(3):320-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Breakpoint cluster region-Abelson murine leukaemia viral oncogene homologue 1 (BCR-ABL1), encoded by the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome, is the characteristic of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We demonstrated that expression of the Ik6 transcript, which lacked exons 3-6, was observed exclusively in BCR-ABL1(+) B ALL and lymphoid blast crisis CML (BC-CML) patients harbouring the IKZF1 Δ3-6 deletion. To confirm the hypothesis that illegitimate recombination activating gene protein (RAG)-mediated recombination events are involved in IKZF1 Δ3-6 deletion in BCR-ABL1 lymphoblastic leukaemia, we first demonstrated that the expression rates of RAG1 and RAG2, collectively called RAG, were higher in ALL and BC-CML (lymphoid). Notably, analysis of relationships among RAG, BCR-ABL1 and Ikaros 6 (Ik6) showed that Ik6 can be generated only if RAG and BCR-ABL1 are co-existing. The sequencing data showed that the deleted segments of introns 2 and 6 contained cryptic recombination signal sequences (cRSSs) and frequently had non-template nucleotides inserted between breakpoints. Furthermore, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technology and demonstrated that the sequences directly flanking IKZF1 Δ3-6 deletion breakpoints have significantly higher levels of histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) modifications. Overall, RAG expression, good-quality cRSS and a specific chromatin modification, H3K4me3, satisfy the conditions of RAG's off-target effects on IKZF1. Our work provides evidence for RAG-mediated IKZF1 Δ3-6 deletion. Our results raise the prospect that RAG is a valuable biomarker in disease surveillance. Dissecting the contribution of RAG should not only provide valuable mechanistic insights, but will also lead to a new therapeutic direction.

Cicchini L, Westrich JA, Xu T, et al.
Suppression of Antitumor Immune Responses by Human Papillomavirus through Epigenetic Downregulation of CXCL14.
MBio. 2016; 7(3) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are causally associated with multiple human cancers. Previous studies have shown that the HPV oncoprotein E7 induces immune suppression; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. To understand the mechanisms by which HPV deregulates host immune responses in the tumor microenvironment, we analyzed gene expression changes of all known chemokines and their receptors using our global gene expression data sets from human HPV-positive and -negative head/neck cancer and cervical tissue specimens in different disease stages. We report that, while many proinflammatory chemokines increase expression throughout cancer progression, CXCL14 is dramatically downregulated in HPV-positive cancers. HPV suppression of CXCL14 is dependent on E7 and associated with DNA hypermethylation in the CXCL14 promoter. Using in vivo mouse models, we revealed that restoration of Cxcl14 expression in HPV-positive mouse oropharyngeal carcinoma cells clears tumors in immunocompetent syngeneic mice, but not in Rag1-deficient mice. Further, Cxcl14 reexpression significantly increases natural killer (NK), CD4(+) T, and CD8(+) T cell infiltration into the tumor-draining lymph nodes in vivo In vitro transwell migration assays show that Cxcl14 reexpression induces chemotaxis of NK, CD4(+) T, and CD8(+) T cells. These results suggest that CXCL14 downregulation by HPV plays an important role in suppression of antitumor immune responses. Our findings provide a new mechanistic understanding of virus-induced immune evasion that contributes to cancer progression.
IMPORTANCE: Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are causally associated with more than 5% of all human cancers. During decades of cancer progression, HPV persists, evading host surveillance. However, little is known about the immune evasion mechanisms driven by HPV. Here we report that the chemokine CXCL14 is significantly downregulated in HPV-positive head/neck and cervical cancers. Using patient tissue specimens and cultured keratinocytes, we found that CXCL14 downregulation is linked to CXCL14 promoter hypermethylation induced by the HPV oncoprotein E7. Restoration of Cxcl14 expression in HPV-positive cancer cells clears tumors in immunocompetent syngeneic mice, but not in immunodeficient mice. Mice with Cxcl14 reexpression show dramatically increased natural killer and T cells in the tumor-draining lymph nodes. These results suggest that epigenetic downregulation of CXCL14 by HPV plays an important role in suppressing antitumor immune responses. Our findings may offer novel insights to develop preventive and therapeutic tools for restoring antitumor immune responses in HPV-infected individuals.

Borland G, Kilbey A, Hay J, et al.
Addiction to Runx1 is partially attenuated by loss of p53 in the Eµ-Myc lymphoma model.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(17):22973-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The Runx genes function as dominant oncogenes that collaborate potently with Myc or loss of p53 to induce lymphoma when over-expressed. Here we examined the requirement for basal Runx1 activity for tumor maintenance in the Eµ-Myc model of Burkitt's lymphoma. While normal Runx1fl/fl lymphoid cells permit mono-allelic deletion, primary Eµ-Myc lymphomas showed selection for retention of both alleles and attempts to enforce deletion in vivo led to compensatory expansion of p53null blasts retaining Runx1. Surprisingly, Runx1 could be excised completely from established Eµ-Myc lymphoma cell lines in vitro without obvious effects on cell phenotype. Established lines lacked functional p53, and were sensitive to death induced by introduction of a temperature-sensitive p53 (Val135) allele. Transcriptome analysis of Runx1-deleted cells revealed a gene signature associated with lymphoid proliferation, survival and differentiation, and included strong de-repression of recombination-activating (Rag) genes, an observation that was mirrored in a panel of human acute leukemias where RUNX1 and RAG1,2 mRNA expression were negatively correlated. Notably, despite their continued growth and tumorigenic potential, Runx1null lymphoma cells displayed impaired proliferation and markedly increased sensitivity to DNA damage and dexamethasone-induced apoptosis, validating Runx1 function as a potential therapeutic target in Myc-driven lymphomas regardless of their p53 status.

Malcolm TI, Villarese P, Fairbairn CJ, et al.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma arises in thymocytes and requires transient TCR expression for thymic egress.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10087 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a peripheral T-cell lymphoma presenting mostly in children and young adults. The natural progression of this disease is largely unknown as is the identity of its true cell of origin. Here we present a model of peripheral ALCL pathogenesis where the malignancy is initiated in early thymocytes, before T-cell receptor (TCR) β-rearrangement, which is bypassed in CD4/NPM-ALK transgenic mice following Notch1 expression. However, we find that a TCR is required for thymic egress and development of peripheral murine tumours, yet this TCR must be downregulated for T-cell lymphomagenesis. In keeping with this, clonal TCR rearrangements in human ALCL are predominantly in-frame, but often aberrant, with clonal TCRα but no comparable clonal TCRβ rearrangement, yielding events that would not normally be permissive for survival during thymic development. Children affected by ALCL may thus harbour thymic lymphoma-initiating cells capable of seeding relapse after chemotherapy.

Hu J, Zhang Y, Zhao L, et al.
Chromosomal Loop Domains Direct the Recombination of Antigen Receptor Genes.
Cell. 2015; 163(4):947-59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
RAG initiates antibody V(D)J recombination in developing lymphocytes by generating "on-target" DNA breaks at matched pairs of bona fide recombination signal sequences (RSSs). We employ bait RAG-generated breaks in endogenous or ectopically inserted RSS pairs to identify huge numbers of RAG "off-target" breaks. Such breaks occur at the simple CAC motif that defines the RSS cleavage site and are largely confined within convergent CTCF-binding element (CBE)-flanked loop domains containing bait RSS pairs. Marked orientation dependence of RAG off-target activity within loops spanning up to 2 megabases implies involvement of linear tracking. In this regard, major RAG off-targets in chromosomal translocations occur as convergent RSS pairs at enhancers within a loop. Finally, deletion of a CBE-based IgH locus element disrupts V(D)J recombination domains and, correspondingly, alters RAG on- and off-target distributions within IgH. Our findings reveal how RAG activity is developmentally focused and implicate mechanisms by which chromatin domains harness biological processes within them.

Vojkovics D, Kellermayer Z, Heidt D, et al.
Isolation and Characterization of a Murine Spontaneous High-Grade Follicular Lymphoma with Restricted In Vivo Spreading--a Model for Lymphatic Metastasis Via the Mesentery.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2016; 22(2):421-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Spontaneous or induced malignant lymphomas in mice are valuable tools for studying human lymphoproliferative diseases, including the mechanism of migration between peripheral lymphoid organs and positioning within distinct tissue compartments. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a novel spontaneous lymphoma from BALB/c mice showing restricted tissue distribution and metastasis. The lymphoma cells display CD19, B220, MHC II, surface IgG2a/kappa chain with VH7183 rearrangement of the IgH gene, indicating their B-cell origin. Serial intraperitoneal injection of primary tumor into both BALB/c and RAG-1-deficient hosts led to the successful propagation of lymphoma. Despite the cytological characteristics of high-grade follicular B-cell lymphoma, the tumor cells (denoted as Bc-DLFL.1) showed significantly lesser spreading to extraabdominal locations upon intraperitoneal passage compared to splenic and mesenteric lymph node expansion. In mesenteric lymph nodes the high endothelial venules contained only few tumor cells, while the lymphatic vessels were almost completely filled with lymphoma cells. Similarly, the LYVE-1-positive lymphatic capillaries within the mesentery were packed with lymphoma cells. These findings suggest that Bc-DLFL.1 cells likely propagate primarily via the lymphatic circulation within the mesentery, therefore this tumor may offer an in vivo model to investigate the tumor cell migration via the lymphatic circulation from the peritoneal cavity.

Gee HE, Buffa FM, Harris AL, et al.
MicroRNA-Related DNA Repair/Cell-Cycle Genes Independently Associated With Relapse After Radiation Therapy for Early Breast Cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(5):1104-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Local recurrence and distant failure after adjuvant radiation therapy for breast cancer remain significant clinical problems, incompletely predicted by conventional clinicopathologic markers. We had previously identified microRNA-139-5p and microRNA-1274a as key regulators of breast cancer radiation response in vitro. The purpose of this study was to investigate standard clinicopathologic markers of local recurrence in a contemporary series and to establish whether putative target genes of microRNAs involved in DNA repair and cell cycle control could better predict radiation therapy response in vivo.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: With institutional ethics board approval, local recurrence was measured in a contemporary, prospectively collected series of 458 patients treated with radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery. Additionally, independent publicly available mRNA/microRNA microarray expression datasets totaling >1000 early-stage breast cancer patients, treated with adjuvant radiation therapy, with >10 years of follow-up, were analyzed. The expression of putative microRNA target biomarkers--TOP2A, POLQ, RAD54L, SKP2, PLK2, and RAG1--were correlated with standard clinicopathologic variables using 2-sided nonparametric tests, and to local/distant relapse and survival using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis.
RESULTS: We found a low rate of isolated local recurrence (1.95%) in our modern series, and that few clinicopathologic variables (such as lymphovascular invasion) were significantly predictive. In multiple independent datasets (n>1000), however, high expression of RAD54L, TOP2A, POLQ, and SKP2 significantly correlated with local recurrence, survival, or both in univariate and multivariate analyses (P<.001). Low RAG1 expression significantly correlated with local recurrence (multivariate, P=.008). Additionally, RAD54L, SKP2, and PLK2 may be predictive, being prognostic in radiation therapy-treated patients but not in untreated matched control individuals (n=107; P<.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Biomarkers of DNA repair and cell cycle control can identify patients at high risk of treatment failure in those receiving radiation therapy for early breast cancer in independent cohorts. These should be further investigated prospectively, especially TOP2A and SKP2, for which targeted therapies are available.

Weber T, Bötticher B, Mier W, et al.
High treatment efficacy by dual targeting of Burkitt's lymphoma xenografted mice with a (177)Lu-based CD22-specific radioimmunoconjugate and rituximab.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(3):489-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Dual-targeted therapy has been shown to be a promising treatment option in recurrent and/or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL). We generated radioimmunoconjugates (RICs) comprising either a novel humanized anti-CD22 monoclonal antibody, huRFB4, or rituximab, and the low-energy β-emitter (177)Lu. Both RICs were evaluated as single agents in a human Burkitt's lymphoma xenograft mouse model. To increase the therapeutic efficacy of the anti-CD22 RIC, combination therapy with unlabelled anti-CD20 rituximab was explored.
METHODS: The binding activity of CHX-A″-DTPA-conjugated antibodies to target cells was analysed by flow cytometry. To assess tumour targeting of (177)Lu-labelled antibodies, in vivo biodistribution experiments were performed. For radioimmunotherapy (RIT) studies, non-obese diabetic recombination activating gene-1 (NOD-Rag1 (null) ) interleukin-2 receptor common gamma chain (IL2rγ (null) ) null mice (NRG mice) were xenografted subcutaneously with Raji Burkitt's lymphoma cells. (177)Lu-conjugated antibodies were administered at a single dose of 9.5 MBq per mouse. For dual-targeted therapy, rituximab was injected at weekly intervals (0.5 - 1.0 mg). Tumour accumulation of RICs was monitored by planar scintigraphy.
RESULTS: Conjugation of CHX-A"-DTPA resulted in highly stable RICs with excellent antigen-binding properties. Biodistribution experiments revealed higher tumour uptake of the (177)Lu-labelled anti-CD22 IgG than of (177)Lu-labelled rituximab. Treatment with (177)Lu-conjugated huRFB4 resulted in increased tumour growth inhibition and significantly longer survival than treatment with (177)Lu-conjugated rituximab. The therapeutic efficacy of the anti-CD22 RIC could be markedly enhanced by combination with unlabelled rituximab.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that dual targeting with (177)Lu-based CD22-specific RIT in combination with rituximab is a promising new treatment option for refractory B-NHL.

Ochodnicka-Mackovicova K, Bahjat M, Bloedjes TA, et al.
NF-κB and AKT signaling prevent DNA damage in transformed pre-B cells by suppressing RAG1/2 expression and activity.
Blood. 2015; 126(11):1324-35 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
In developing lymphocytes, expression and activity of the recombination activation gene protein 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 endonuclease complex is tightly regulated to ensure ordered recombination of the immunoglobulin genes and to avoid genomic instability. Aberrant RAG activity has been implicated in the generation of secondary genetic events in human B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALLs), illustrating the oncogenic potential of the RAG complex. Several layers of regulation prevent collateral genomic DNA damage by restricting RAG activity to the G1 phase of the cell cycle. In this study, we show a novel pathway that suppresses RAG expression in cycling-transformed mouse pre-B cells and human pre-B B-ALL cells that involves the negative regulation of FOXO1 by nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). Inhibition of NF-κB in cycling pre-B cells resulted in upregulation of RAG expression and recombination activity, which provoked RAG-dependent DNA damage. In agreement, we observe a negative correlation between NF-κB activity and the expression of RAG1, RAG2, and TdT in B-ALL patients. Our data suggest that targeting NF-κB in B-ALL increases the risk of RAG-dependent genomic instability.

Swaminathan S, Klemm L, Park E, et al.
Mechanisms of clonal evolution in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nat Immunol. 2015; 16(7):766-774 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can often be traced to a pre-leukemic clone carrying a prenatal genetic lesion. Postnatally acquired mutations then drive clonal evolution toward overt leukemia. The enzymes RAG1-RAG2 and AID, which diversify immunoglobulin-encoding genes, are strictly segregated in developing cells during B lymphopoiesis and peripheral mature B cells, respectively. Here we identified small pre-BII cells as a natural subset with increased genetic vulnerability owing to concurrent activation of these enzymes. Consistent with epidemiological findings on childhood ALL etiology, susceptibility to genetic lesions during B lymphopoiesis at the transition from the large pre-BII cell stage to the small pre-BII cell stage was exacerbated by abnormal cytokine signaling and repetitive inflammatory stimuli. We demonstrated that AID and RAG1-RAG2 drove leukemic clonal evolution with repeated exposure to inflammatory stimuli, paralleling chronic infections in childhood.

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