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Title: Egr2/Egr3 are essential tumour suppressor genes for lymphomagenesis
Author: Bhullar, Punamdip Kaur
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cases. The control of lymphomagenesis still remains a challenge. Early growth response gene (Egr) 2 and 3 are zinc finger transcription factors. Egr2 plays an important role in the development of both central nervous system and lymphocytes. However the mechanism of action in lymphocytes is still unknown. In order to fully understand the function of Egr2, in lymphocytes, we developed Egr2 and 3 double knockout mice (Egr2-/-Egr3-/-) by crossbreeding lymphocyte specific Egr2 knockout mice (CD2-Egr2-/-) with Egr3 knockout mice (Egr3-/-), as previous reports suggested that Egr3 compensates for the role of Egr2. In the absence of Egr2 and 3, the homeostasis of T cells is dysregulated with hyper-homeostatic proliferation of effector like phenotype cells. More importantly the development of spontaneous B and T cell lymphoma was found in more than 70% of Egr2-/-Egr3-/- mice. The lymphoma cells from Egr2-/-Egr3-/- mice were highly proliferative and metastatically spread into other non-lymphoid organs, such as lung, liver and kidney. In additional to this lymphoma development the Egr2-/-Egr3-/- mice showed signs of chronic inflammatory disorder. This inflammatory disorder was characterised by glomerulonephritis and an increase in serum cytokines, which may provide the microenvironment for the lymphoma development. To explore the molecular mechanism of tumour development in Egr2-/-Egr3-/- mice, the transcriptional profile of Egr2 was studied by microarray and ChIP-on-chip. We found firstly that Egr2 directly binds to the promoter regions of Ikaros and FOXO3. The deletion of Egr2 and 3 in lymphocytes led to the downregulation of Ikaros, Aiolos and FOXO3 expression. The impaired expression was found to be associated with proliferative disorder and the development of T and B cell lymphoma. Secondly Egr2 strongly inhibits STAT3 transcriptional activity by regulating SOCS3, which is a known inhibitor of STAT3. The breakdown of this regulation could be an important mechanism in lymphomagenesis. A model is proposed which defines Egr2 and Egr3 as the backbone of important tumour suppressor genes that control cell fate decision and regulates homeostasis in the lymphoid system. Thus, our results suggest that Egr2 and 3 are important regulators of lymphocyte function by their involvement in multiple cell signalling pathways, which could potentially be key genes for future cancer therapy.
Supervisor: Li, S.-L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lymphocyte ; Tumour suppressor genes ; Lymphoma