Gene Summary

Gene:LMO1; LIM domain only 1 (rhombotin 1)
Aliases: TTG1, RBTN1, RHOM1
Summary:This locus encodes a transcriptional regulator that contains two cysteine-rich LIM domains but lacks a DNA-binding domain. LIM domains may play a role in protein interactions; thus the encoded protein may regulate transcription by competitively binding to specific DNA-binding transcription factors. Alterations at this locus have been associated with acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia. Chromosomal rearrangements have been observed between this locus and at least two loci, the delta subunit of the T-cell antigen receptor gene and the LIM domain binding 1 gene. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2012]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 18 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (4)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 18 March 2015 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.

  • Base Sequence
  • Neuroblastoma
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • LMO1
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Infant
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chromosome 11
  • Adult T-Cell Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Adolescents
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transcription
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Survival Rate
  • Metalloproteins
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Zinc Fingers
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transfection
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Leukaemia
  • Mutation
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Oncogenes
Tag cloud generated 18 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: LMO1 (cancer-related)

Capasso M, Diskin S, Cimmino F, et al.
Common genetic variants in NEFL influence gene expression and neuroblastoma risk.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(23):6913-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The genetic etiology of sporadic neuroblastoma is still largely obscure. In a genome-wide association study, we identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with neuroblastoma at the CASC15, BARD1, LMO1, DUSP12, HSD17B12, HACE1, and LIN28B gene loci, but these explain only a small fraction of neuroblastoma heritability. Other neuroblastoma susceptibility genes are likely hidden among signals discarded by the multiple testing corrections. In this study, we evaluated eight additional genes selected as candidates for further study based on proven involvement in neuroblastoma differentiation. SNPs at these candidate genes were tested for association with disease susceptibility in 2,101 cases and 4,202 controls, with the associations found replicated in an independent cohort of 459 cases and 809 controls. Replicated associations were further studied for cis-effect using gene expression, transient overexpression, silencing, and cellular differentiation assays. The neurofilament gene NEFL harbored three SNPs associated with neuroblastoma (rs11994014: Pcombined = 0.0050; OR, 0.88; rs2979704: Pcombined = 0.0072; OR, 0.87; rs1059111: Pcombined = 0.0049; OR, 0.86). The protective allele of rs1059111 correlated with increased NEFL expression. Biologic investigations showed that ectopic overexpression of NEFL inhibited cell growth specifically in neuroblastoma cells carrying the protective allele. NEFL overexpression also enhanced differentiation and impaired the proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of cells with protective allele and basal NEFL expression, while impairing invasiveness and proliferation of cells homozygous for the risk genotype. Clinically, high levels of NEFL expression in primary neuroblastoma specimens were associated with better overall survival (P = 0.03; HR, 0.68). Our results show that common variants of NEFL influence neuroblastoma susceptibility and they establish that NEFL expression influences disease initiation and progression.

Liu J, Yan P, Jing N, Yang J
LMO1 is a novel oncogene in colorectal cancer and its overexpression is a new predictive marker for anti-EGFR therapy.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(8):8161-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. We report that one oncogene amplified on chromosome 3q26, LMO1, a master transcriptional regulator of stemness, operates to drive strong growth phenotype in CRC. The gene expression changes of LMO1 in human CRC tissues compared with noncancerous tissues were detected using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) analysis and immunohistochemistry, which identified the gene overexpression of LMO1 in CRC. Moreover, we discovered that LMO1 promoted cancer cell proliferation in vitro/in vivo and LMO1 expression correlated with elevated AKT phosphorylation in CRC while the AKT phosphorylation was required for oncogenic effects of LMO1. Next, our data point to the usefulness of LMO1 overexpression, as a new predictive marker for responsiveness to cetuximab. All in all, LMO1 is a commonly activated tumor promoter that activates AKT signaling in CRC and a new predictive marker for targeted therapy.

Atak ZK, Gianfelici V, Hulselmans G, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of transcriptome variation uncovers known and novel driver events in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(12):e1003997 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
RNA-seq is a promising technology to re-sequence protein coding genes for the identification of single nucleotide variants (SNV), while simultaneously obtaining information on structural variations and gene expression perturbations. We asked whether RNA-seq is suitable for the detection of driver mutations in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). These leukemias are caused by a combination of gene fusions, over-expression of transcription factors and cooperative point mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We analyzed 31 T-ALL patient samples and 18 T-ALL cell lines by high-coverage paired-end RNA-seq. First, we optimized the detection of SNVs in RNA-seq data by comparing the results with exome re-sequencing data. We identified known driver genes with recurrent protein altering variations, as well as several new candidates including H3F3A, PTK2B, and STAT5B. Next, we determined accurate gene expression levels from the RNA-seq data through normalizations and batch effect removal, and used these to classify patients into T-ALL subtypes. Finally, we detected gene fusions, of which several can explain the over-expression of key driver genes such as TLX1, PLAG1, LMO1, or NKX2-1; and others result in novel fusion transcripts encoding activated kinases (SSBP2-FER and TPM3-JAK2) or involving MLLT10. In conclusion, we present novel analysis pipelines for variant calling, variant filtering, and expression normalization on RNA-seq data, and successfully applied these for the detection of translocations, point mutations, INDELs, exon-skipping events, and expression perturbations in T-ALL.

Mandoli A, Singh AA, Jansen PW, et al.
CBFB-MYH11/RUNX1 together with a compendium of hematopoietic regulators, chromatin modifiers and basal transcription factors occupies self-renewal genes in inv(16) acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(4):770-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Different mechanisms for CBFβ-MYH11 function in acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16) have been proposed such as tethering of RUNX1 outside the nucleus, interference with transcription factor complex assembly and recruitment of histone deacetylases, all resulting in transcriptional repression of RUNX1 target genes. Here, through genome-wide CBFβ-MYH11-binding site analysis and quantitative interaction proteomics, we found that CBFβ-MYH11 localizes to RUNX1 occupied promoters, where it interacts with TAL1, FLI1 and TBP-associated factors (TAFs) in the context of the hematopoietic transcription factors ERG, GATA2 and PU.1/SPI1 and the coregulators EP300 and HDAC1. Transcriptional analysis revealed that upon fusion protein knockdown, a small subset of the CBFβ-MYH11 target genes show increased expression, confirming a role in transcriptional repression. However, the majority of CBFβ-MYH11 target genes, including genes implicated in hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal such as ID1, LMO1 and JAG1, are actively transcribed and repressed upon fusion protein knockdown. Together these results suggest an essential role for CBFβ-MYH11 in regulating the expression of genes involved in maintaining a stem cell phenotype.

Mansour MR, Sanda T, Lawton LN, et al.
The TAL1 complex targets the FBXW7 tumor suppressor by activating miR-223 in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Exp Med. 2013; 210(8):1545-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The oncogenic transcription factor TAL1/SCL is aberrantly expressed in 60% of cases of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and initiates T-ALL in mouse models. By performing global microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling after depletion of TAL1, together with genome-wide analysis of TAL1 occupancy by chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to massively parallel DNA sequencing, we identified the miRNA genes directly controlled by TAL1 and its regulatory partners HEB, E2A, LMO1/2, GATA3, and RUNX1. The most dynamically regulated miRNA was miR-223, which is bound at its promoter and up-regulated by the TAL1 complex. miR-223 expression mirrors TAL1 levels during thymic development, with high expression in early thymocytes and marked down-regulation after the double-negative-2 stage of maturation. We demonstrate that aberrant miR-223 up-regulation by TAL1 is important for optimal growth of TAL1-positive T-ALL cells and that sustained expression of miR-223 partially rescues T-ALL cells after TAL1 knockdown. Overexpression of miR-223 also leads to marked down-regulation of FBXW7 protein expression, whereas knockdown of TAL1 leads to up-regulation of FBXW7 protein levels, with a marked reduction of its substrates MYC, MYB, NOTCH1, and CYCLIN E. We conclude that TAL1-mediated up-regulation of miR-223 promotes the malignant phenotype in T-ALL through repression of the FBXW7 tumor suppressor.

Matthews JM, Lester K, Joseph S, Curtis DJ
LIM-domain-only proteins in cancer.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2013; 13(2):111-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
LIM-domain proteins are a large family of proteins that are emerging as key molecules in a wide variety of human cancers. In particular, all members of the human LIM-domain-only (LMO) proteins, LMO1-4, which are required for many developmental processes, are implicated in the onset or the progression of several cancers, including T cell leukaemia, breast cancer and neuroblastoma. These small proteins contain two protein-interacting LIM domains but little additional sequence, and they seem to function by nucleating the formation of new transcriptional complexes and/or by disrupting existing transcriptional complexes to modulate gene expression programmes. Through these activities, the LMO proteins have important cellular roles in processes that are relevant to cancer such as self-renewal, cell cycle regulation and metastasis. These functions highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting these proteins in cancer.

Oram SH, Thoms J, Sive JI, et al.
Bivalent promoter marks and a latent enhancer may prime the leukaemia oncogene LMO1 for ectopic expression in T-cell leukaemia.
Leukemia. 2013; 27(6):1348-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
LMO1 is a transcriptional regulator and a T-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) oncogene. Although first identified in association with a chromosomal translocation in T-ALL, the ectopic expression of LMO1 occurs far more frequently in the absence of any known mutation involving its locus. Given that LMO1 is barely expressed in any haematopoietic lineage, and activation of transcriptional drivers in leukaemic cells is not well described, we investigated the regulation of this gene in normal haematopoietic and leukaemic cells. We show that LMO1 has two promoters that drive reporter gene expression in transgenic mice to neural tissues known to express endogenous LMO1. The LMO1 promoters display bivalent histone marks in multiple blood lineages including T-cells, and a 3' flanking region at LMO1 +57 contains a transcriptional enhancer that is active in developing blood cells in transgenic mouse embryos. The LMO1 promoters become activated in T-ALL together with the 3' enhancer, which is bound in primary T-ALL cells by SCL/TAL1 and GATA3. Taken together, our results show that LMO1 is poised for expression in normal progenitors, where activation of SCL/TAL1 together with a breakdown of epigenetic repression of LMO1 regulatory elements induces ectopic LMO1 expression that contributes to the development and maintenance of T-ALL.

Capasso M, Diskin SJ, Totaro F, et al.
Replication of GWAS-identified neuroblastoma risk loci strengthens the role of BARD1 and affirms the cumulative effect of genetic variations on disease susceptibility.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(3):605-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Several neuroblastoma (NB) susceptibility loci have been identified within LINC00340, BARD1, LMO1, DUSP12, HSD17B12, DDX4, IL31RA, HACE1 and LIN28B by genome-wide association (GWA) studies including European American individuals. To validate and comprehensively evaluate the impact of the identified NB variants on disease risk and phenotype, we analyzed 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in an Italian population (370 cases and 809 controls). We assessed their regulatory activity on gene expression in lymphoblastoid (LCLs) and NB cell lines. We evaluated the cumulative effect of the independent loci on NB risk and high-risk phenotype development in Italian and European American (1627 cases and 2575 controls) populations. All NB susceptibility genes replicated in the Italian dataset except for DDX4 and IL31RA, and the most significant SNP was rs6435862 in BARD1 (P = 8.4 × 10(-15)). BARD1 showed an additional and independent SNP association (rs7585356). This variant influenced BARD1 mRNA expression in LCLs and NB cell lines. No evidence of epistasis among the NB-associated variants was detected, whereas a cumulative effect of risk variants on NB risk (European Americans: P (trend) = 6.9 × 10(-30), Italians: P (trend) = 8.55 × 10(13)) and development of high-risk phenotype (European Americans: P (trend) = 6.9 × 10(-13), Italians: P (trend) = 2.2 × 10(-1)) was observed in a dose-dependent manner. These results provide further evidence that the risk loci identified in GWA studies contribute to NB susceptibility in distinct populations and strengthen the role of BARD1 as major genetic contributor to NB risk. This study shows that even in the absence of interaction the combination of several low-penetrance alleles has potential to distinguish subgroups of patients at different risks of developing NB.

Zhou X, Sang M, Liu W, et al.
LMO4 inhibits p53-mediated proliferative inhibition of breast cancer cells through interacting p53.
Life Sci. 2012; 91(9-10):358-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The LIM domain only proteins (LMOs) which consist of four members (LMO1-LMO4) are a family of nuclear transcription coregulators that are characterized by the exclusive presence of two tandem LIM domains and no other functional domains. They regulate gene transcription by functioning as "linker" or "scaffolding" proteins by virtue of their LIM domains and are involved in the formation of multiprotein complexes with several DNA-binding factors and transcriptional regulatory proteins. In the present study, we tried to find the physical interaction between p53 and LMO4, and the effect of LMO4 on p53-mediated proliferative inhibition of breast cancer cells.
MAIN METHODS: FCM analysis was developed to detect the apoptosis of breast cancer cells after adriamycin (ADR) treatment. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis were performed to detect the expression of LMO4 and p53-related genes and proteins. Immunoprecipitation assay was used to detect the interaction between LMO4 and p53. Colony formation assay was developed to detect the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
KEY FINDINGS: We found that p53 was induced, but LMO4 was down-regulated in response to ADR. We also found that enforced expression of p53 inhibited the expression of LMO4, suggesting that LMO4 is a direct transcriptional target of p53. Furthermore, LMO4 can interact with p53 and inhibit p53-mediated inhibition of colony formation of breast cancer MDA-MB-453 cells.
SIGNIFICANCE: The present study showed that LMO4 is a direct target of p53 and inhibits p53-mediated proliferative inhibition of breast cancer cells through interacting p53.

Sanda T, Lawton LN, Barrasa MI, et al.
Core transcriptional regulatory circuit controlled by the TAL1 complex in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Cancer Cell. 2012; 22(2):209-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The oncogenic transcription factor TAL1/SCL is aberrantly expressed in over 40% of cases of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), emphasizing its importance in the molecular pathogenesis of T-ALL. Here we identify the core transcriptional regulatory circuit controlled by TAL1 and its regulatory partners HEB, E2A, LMO1/2, GATA3, and RUNX1. We show that TAL1 forms a positive interconnected autoregulatory loop with GATA3 and RUNX1 and that the TAL1 complex directly activates the MYB oncogene, forming a positive feed-forward regulatory loop that reinforces and stabilizes the TAL1-regulated oncogenic program. One of the critical downstream targets in this circuitry is the TRIB2 gene, which is oppositely regulated by TAL1 and E2A/HEB and is essential for the survival of T-ALL cells.

Latorre V, Diskin SJ, Diamond MA, et al.
Replication of neuroblastoma SNP association at the BARD1 locus in African-Americans.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012; 21(4):658-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma is an often fatal pediatric cancer more frequent in European-American than African-American children. African-American children, however, are at higher risk for the more severe form of neuroblastoma and have worse overall survival than European-American children. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated to neuroblastoma in children of European descent. Knowledge of their association to neuroblastoma in African-American children is still lacking.
METHODS: We genotyped and imputed SNPs located in three gene regions reported to be associated to neuroblastoma in children of European descent, and tested them for association in 390 African-American patients with neuroblastoma compared with 2,500 healthy, ethnically matched controls.
RESULTS: SNPs in the BARD1 gene region show a similar pattern of association to neuroblastoma in African-American and European-American children. The more restricted extent of linkage disequilibrium in the African-American population suggests a smaller candidate region for the putative causal variants than previously reported. Limited association was observed at the other two gene regions tested, including LMO1 in 11p15 and FLJ22536 in 6p22.
CONCLUSIONS: Common BARD1 SNPs affect risk of neuroblastoma in African-Americans. The role of other SNPs associated to neuroblastoma in children of European descent could not be confirmed, possibly due to different patterns of linkage disequilibrium or limited statistical power to detect association to variants with small effect on disease risk. Extension of GWAS to populations of African descent is important to confirm their results and validity beyond the European populations and can help to refine the location of the putative causal variants.

Homminga I, Vuerhard MJ, Langerak AW, et al.
Characterization of a pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient with simultaneous LYL1 and LMO2 rearrangements.
Haematologica. 2012; 97(2):258-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Translocation of the LYL1 oncogene are rare in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, whereas the homologous TAL1 gene is rearranged in approximately 20% of patients. Previous gene-expression studies have identified an immature T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia subgroup with high LYL1 expression in the absence of chromosomal aberrations. Molecular characterization of a t(7;19)(q34;p13) in a pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient led to the identification of a translocation between the TRB@ and LYL1 loci. Similar to incidental T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases with synergistic, double translocations affecting TAL1/2 and LMO1/2 oncogenes, this LYL1-translocated patient also had an LMO2 rearrangement pointing to oncogenic cooperation between LYL1 and LMO2. In hierarchical cluster analyses based on gene-expression data, this sample consistently clustered along with cases having TAL1 or LMO2 rearrangements. Therefore, LYL1-rearranged cases are not necessarily associated with immature T-cell development, despite high LYL1 levels, but elicit a TALLMO expression signature.

Beuten J, Gelfond JA, Piwkham D, et al.
Candidate gene association analysis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia identifies new susceptibility locus at 11p15 (LMO1).
Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32(9):1349-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
To determine the contribution of susceptibility loci in explaining the genetic basis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we genotyped 29 high-potential candidate genes with 672 tagged single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a sample (163 cases and 251 healthy controls) of Caucasian children. Fifty SNPs in 15 genes were significantly associated with ALL risk at the P < 0.05 level. After correction for multiple testing, rs442264 within the LIM domain only 1 (LMO1) gene at 11p15 remained significant [odds ratio (OR) = 1.90, P = 3 × 10(-5)]. In addition, a major haplotype within LMO1 comprising 14 SNPs with individual risk associations was found to significantly increase ALL risk (OR = 1.79, P = 0.0006). A stratified analysis on subtype indicated that risk associations of LMO1 variants are significant in children with precursor B-cell leukemia. These data show that genetic variants within LMO1 are associated with ALL and identify this gene as a strong candidate for precursor B-cell leukemogenesis.

Nguyen le B, Diskin SJ, Capasso M, et al.
Phenotype restricted genome-wide association study using a gene-centric approach identifies three low-risk neuroblastoma susceptibility Loci.
PLoS Genet. 2011; 7(3):e1002026 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is a malignant neoplasm of the developing sympathetic nervous system that is notable for its phenotypic diversity. High-risk patients typically have widely disseminated disease at diagnosis and a poor survival probability, but low-risk patients frequently have localized tumors that are almost always cured with little or no chemotherapy. Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified common variants within FLJ22536, BARD1, and LMO1 as significantly associated with neuroblastoma and more robustly associated with high-risk disease. Here we show that a GWAS focused on low-risk cases identified SNPs within DUSP12 at 1q23.3 (P = 2.07 × 10⁻⁶), DDX4 and IL31RA both at 5q11.2 (P = 2.94 × 10⁻⁶ and 6.54 × 10⁻⁷ respectively), and HSD17B12 at 11p11.2 (P = 4.20 × 10⁻⁷) as being associated with the less aggressive form of the disease. These data demonstrate the importance of robust phenotypic data in GWAS analyses and identify additional susceptibility variants for neuroblastoma.

Wang K, Diskin SJ, Zhang H, et al.
Integrative genomics identifies LMO1 as a neuroblastoma oncogene.
Nature. 2011; 469(7329):216-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that accounts for approximately 10% of all paediatric oncology deaths. To identify genetic risk factors for neuroblastoma, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 2,251 patients and 6,097 control subjects of European ancestry from four case series. Here we report a significant association within LIM domain only 1 (LMO1) at 11p15.4 (rs110419, combined P = 5.2 × 10(-16), odds ratio of risk allele = 1.34 (95% confidence interval 1.25-1.44)). The signal was enriched in the subset of patients with the most aggressive form of the disease. LMO1 encodes a cysteine-rich transcriptional regulator, and its paralogues (LMO2, LMO3 and LMO4) have each been previously implicated in cancer. In parallel, we analysed genome-wide DNA copy number alterations in 701 primary tumours. We found that the LMO1 locus was aberrant in 12.4% through a duplication event, and that this event was associated with more advanced disease (P < 0.0001) and survival (P = 0.041). The germline single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) risk alleles and somatic copy number gains were associated with increased LMO1 expression in neuroblastoma cell lines and primary tumours, consistent with a gain-of-function role in tumorigenesis. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated depletion of LMO1 inhibited growth of neuroblastoma cells with high LMO1 expression, whereas forced expression of LMO1 in neuroblastoma cells with low LMO1 expression enhanced proliferation. These data show that common polymorphisms at the LMO1 locus are strongly associated with susceptibility to developing neuroblastoma, but also may influence the likelihood of further somatic alterations at this locus, leading to malignant progression.

Kusy S, Gerby B, Goardon N, et al.
NKX3.1 is a direct TAL1 target gene that mediates proliferation of TAL1-expressing human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Exp Med. 2010; 207(10):2141-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
TAL1 (also known as SCL) is expressed in >40% of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). TAL1 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that can interfere with the transcriptional activity of E2A and HEB during T cell leukemogenesis; however, the oncogenic pathways directly activated by TAL1 are not characterized. In this study, we show that, in human TAL1-expressing T-ALL cell lines, TAL1 directly activates NKX3.1, a tumor suppressor gene required for prostate stem cell maintenance. In human T-ALL cell lines, NKX3.1 gene activation is mediated by a TAL1-LMO-Ldb1 complex that is recruited by GATA-3 bound to an NKX3.1 gene promoter regulatory sequence. TAL1-induced NKX3.1 activation is associated with suppression of HP1-α (heterochromatin protein 1 α) binding and opening of chromatin on the NKX3.1 gene promoter. NKX3.1 is necessary for T-ALL proliferation, can partially restore proliferation in TAL1 knockdown cells, and directly regulates miR-17-92. In primary human TAL1-expressing leukemic cells, the NKX3.1 gene is expressed independently of the Notch pathway, and its inactivation impairs proliferation. Finally, TAL1 or NKX3.1 knockdown abrogates the ability of human T-ALL cells to efficiently induce leukemia development in mice. These results suggest that tumor suppressor or oncogenic activity of NKX3.1 depends on tissue expression.

Zhang M, Swanson PC
V(D)J recombinase binding and cleavage of cryptic recombination signal sequences identified from lymphoid malignancies.
J Biol Chem. 2008; 283(11):6717-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
V(D)J recombination is a process integral to lymphocyte development. However, this process is not always benign, since certain lymphoid malignancies exhibit recurrent chromosomal abnormalities, such as translocations and deletions, that harbor molecular signatures suggesting an origin from aberrant V(D)J recombination. Translocations involving LMO2, TAL1, Ttg-1, and Hox11, as well as a recurrent interstitial deletion at 1p32 involving SIL/SCL, are cited examples of illegitimate V(D)J recombination. Previous studies using extrachromosomal substrates reveal that cryptic recombination signal sequences (cRSSs) identified near the translocation breakpoint in these examples support V(D)J recombination with efficiencies ranging from about 30- to 20,000-fold less than bona fide V(D)J recombination signals. To understand the molecular basis for these large differences, we investigated the binding and cleavage of these cRSSs by the RAG1/2 proteins that initiate V(D)J recombination. We find that the RAG proteins comparably bind all cRSSs tested, albeit more poorly than a consensus RSS. We show that four cRSSs that support levels of V(D)J recombination above background levels in cell culture (LMO2, TAL1, Ttg-1, and SIL) are also cleaved by the RAG proteins in vitro with efficiencies ranging from 18 to 70% of a consensus RSS. Cleavage of LMO2 and Ttg-1 by the RAG proteins can also be detected in cell culture using ligation-mediated PCR. In contrast, Hox11 and SCL are nicked but not cleaved efficiently in vitro, and cleavage at other adventitious sites in plasmid substrates may also limit the ability to detect recombination activity at these cRSSs in cell culture.

Fasseu M, Aplan PD, Chopin M, et al.
p16INK4A tumor suppressor gene expression and CD3epsilon deficiency but not pre-TCR deficiency inhibit TAL1-linked T-lineage leukemogenesis.
Blood. 2007; 110(7):2610-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Inactivation of the CDKN2 genes that encode the p16(INK4A) and p14(ARF) proteins occurs in the majority of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs). Ectopic expression of TAL1 and LMO1 genes is linked to the development of T-ALL in humans. In TAL1xLMO1 mice, leukemia develops in 100% of mice at 5 months. To identify the molecular events crucial to leukemic transformation, we produced several mouse models. We report here that expression of P16(INK4A) in developing TAL1xLMO1 thymocytes blocks leukemogenesis in the majority of the mice, and the leukemias that eventually develop show P16(INK4A) loss of expression. Events related to the T-cell receptor beta selection process are thought to be important for leukemic transformation. We show here that the absence of the pTalpha chain only slightly delays the appearance of TAL1xLMO1-induced T-ALL, which indicates a minor role of the pTalpha chain. We also show that the CD3epsilon-mediated signal transduction pathway is essential for this transformation process, since the TAL1xLMO1xCD3epsilon-deficient mice do not develop T-ALL for up to 1 year.

Saeki N, Kim DH, Usui T, et al.
GASDERMIN, suppressed frequently in gastric cancer, is a target of LMO1 in TGF-beta-dependent apoptotic signalling.
Oncogene. 2007; 26(45):6488-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
Defining apoptosis-regulatory cascades of the epithelium is important for understanding carcinogenesis, since cancer cells are considered to arise as a result of the collapse of the cascades. We previously reported that a novel gene GASDERMIN (GSDM) is expressed in the stomach but suppressed in gastric cancer cell lines. Furthermore, in this study, we demonstrated that GSDM is expressed in the mucus-secreting pit cells of the gastric epithelium and frequently silenced in primary gastric cancers. We found that GSDM has a highly apoptotic activity and its expression is regulated by a transcription factor LIM domain only 1 (LMO1) through a sequence to which Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) binds, in a GSDM promoter region. We observed coexpression of GSDM with LMO1, RUNX3 and type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor (TGF-betaRII) in the pit cells, and found that TGF-beta upregulates the LMO1- and GSDM-expression in the gastric epithelial cell line and induces apoptosis, which was confirmed by the finding that the apoptosis induction is inhibited by suppression of each LMO1-, RUNX3- and GSDM expression, respectively. The present data suggest that TGF-beta, LMO1, possibly RUNX3, and GSDM form a regulatory pathway for directing the pit cells to apoptosis.

Lin YW, Aplan PD
Gene expression profiling of precursor T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma identifies oncogenic pathways that are potential therapeutic targets.
Leukemia. 2007; 21(6):1276-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
We compared the gene expression pattern of thymic tumors from precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia (pre-T LBL) that arose in transgenic mice that overexpressed SCL, LMO1 or NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) with that of thymocytes from normal littermates. Only two genes, Ccl8 and Mrpl38, were consistently more than fourfold overexpressed in pre-T LBL from all three genotypes analyzed, and a single gene, Prss16 was consistently underexpressed. However, we identified a number of genes, such as Cfl1, Tcra, Tcrb, Pbx3, Eif4a, Eif4b and Cox8b that were over or under-expressed in pre-T LBL that arose in specific transgenic lines. Similar to the situation seen with human pre-T LBL, the SCL/LMO1 leukemias displayed an expression profile consistent with mature, late cortical thymocytes, whereas the NHD13 leukemias displayed an expression profile more consistent with immature thymocytes. We evaluated two of the most differentially regulated genes as potential therapeutic targets. Cfl1 was specifically overexpressed in SCL-LMO1 tumors; inactivation of Cfl1 using okadaic acid resulted in suppression of leukemic cell growth. Overexpression of Ccl8 was a consistent finding in all three transgenic lines, and an antagonist for the Ccl8 receptor-induced death of leukemic cell lines, suggesting a novel therapeutic approach.

Chang PY, Draheim K, Kelliher MA, Miyamoto S
NFKB1 is a direct target of the TAL1 oncoprotein in human T leukemia cells.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(12):6008-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently showed that a subset of human T acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines expresses low basal levels of p50, a nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)/Rel family member, resulting in their capacity to activate the atypical p65:cRel complex rather than the classic p50:p65 dimer. Here, we show that the transcription factor TAL1 (also known as SCL) binds to the promoter of the NFKB1 gene that encodes p50 and represses its transcription to set up this unique response in T-ALL cells. When TAL1 expression is reduced in CEM T leukemia cells, basal NFKB1 expression is increased, and the levels of p65:cRel complex and transcription of its target gene, such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), are reduced in response to etoposide treatment. Moreover, a significant negative correlation between NFKB1 and TAL1 or LMO1 was found in primary human TAL1/LMO1 double-positive T-ALL samples previously described by Ferrando et al. Thus, TAL1 modulates NFKB1 expression and an NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional program in a subset of human T-cell leukemia cells.

Lin YW, Deveney R, Barbara M, et al.
OLIG2 (BHLHB1), a bHLH transcription factor, contributes to leukemogenesis in concert with LMO1.
Cancer Res. 2005; 65(16):7151-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
OLIG2 (originally designated BHLHB1) encodes a transcription factor that contains the basic helix-loop-helix motif. Although expression of OLIG2 is normally restricted to neural tissues, overexpression of OLIG2 has been shown in patients with precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia (pre-T LBL). In the current study, we found that overexpression of OLIG2 was not only found in oligodendroglioma samples and normal neural tissue but also in a wide spectrum of malignant cell lines including leukemia, non-small cell lung carcinoma, melanoma, and breast cancer cell lines. To investigate whether enforced expression of OLIG2 is oncogenic, we generated transgenic mice that overexpressed OLIG2 in the thymus. Ectopic OLIG2 expression in the thymus was only weakly oncogenic as only 2 of 85 mice developed pre-T LBL. However, almost 60% of transgenic mice that overexpressed both OLIG2 and LMO1 developed pre-T LBL with large thymic tumor masses. Gene expression profiling of thymic tumors that developed in OLIG2/LMO1 mice revealed up-regulation of Notch1 as well as Deltex1 (Dtx1) and pre T-cell antigen receptor alpha (Ptcra), two genes that are considered to be downstream of Notch1. Of note, we found mutations in the Notch1 heterodimerization or proline-, glutamic acid-, serine-, and threonine-rich domain in three of six primary thymic tumors. In addition, growth of leukemic cell lines established from OLIG2/LMO1 transgenic mice was suppressed by a gamma-secretase inhibitor, suggesting that Notch1 up-regulation is important for the proliferation of OLIG2-LMO1 leukemic cells.

Oba-Shinjo SM, Bengtson MH, Winnischofer SM, et al.
Identification of novel differentially expressed genes in human astrocytomas by cDNA representational difference analysis.
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005; 140(1-2):25-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse infiltrating gliomas are the most common tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), naturally progressing from a lower-grade to a higher-grade malignancy. Several genetic alterations have been correlated with astrocytic tumors; however, a number of as yet unknown genes may also be involved. Therefore, we set out to search for genes that are differentially expressed in anaplastic astrocytoma and normal CNS tissue by applying a PCR-based subtractive hybridization approach, namely, representational difference analysis (RDA). The results of DNA sequencing of a sample (96 cDNA clones) from the subtracted library allowed the identification of 18 different genes, some of which were represented by several cDNA clones, coding for the Np95, LMO1, FCGBP, DSCAM, and taxilin proteins. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis for five of these genes was performed using samples of astrocytic tumors of different grades, confirming their higher expression when compared to non-tumoral CNS tissue. Identification of differentially expressed genes present in gliomas but not in normal CNS tissue is important not only to better understand the molecular basis of these cancers, but also to generate diagnostic DNA chips, which may be useful in future therapeutic intervention.

Aoyama M, Ozaki T, Inuzuka H, et al.
LMO3 interacts with neuronal transcription factor, HEN2, and acts as an oncogene in neuroblastoma.
Cancer Res. 2005; 65(11):4587-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
LIM-only proteins (LMO), which consist of LMO1, LMO2, LMO3, and LMO4, are involved in cell fate determination and differentiation during embryonic development. Accumulating evidence suggests that LMO1 and LMO2 act as oncogenic proteins in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, whereas LMO4 has recently been implicated in the genesis of breast cancer. However, little is known about the role of LMO3 in either tumorigenesis or development. In the present study, we have identified LMO3 and HEN2, which encodes a neuronal basic helix-loop-helix protein, as genes whose expression levels were higher in unfavorable neuroblastomas compared with those of favorable tumors. Immunoprecipitation and immunostaining experiments showed that LMO3 was associated with HEN2 in mammalian cell nucleus. Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells stably overexpressing LMO3 showed a marked increase in cell growth, a promotion of colony formation in soft agar medium, and a rapid tumor growth in nude mice compared with the control transfectants. More importantly, the increased expression of LMO3 and HEN2 was significantly associated with a poor prognosis in 87 primary neuroblastomas. These results suggest that the deregulated expression of neuronal-specific LMO3 and HEN2 contributes to the genesis and progression of human neuroblastoma in a lineage-specific manner.

Izraeli S
Leukaemia -- a developmental perspective.
Br J Haematol. 2004; 126(1):3-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leukaemia is characterized by the accumulation of malignant haematopoietic precursors. Recent studies have revealed that acquired alterations in genes that regulate normal haematopoiesis are frequently detected in leukaemia. The progression to leukaemia depends on additional mutations that promote the survival of developmentally arrested cells. This review describes three examples of this general paradigm of leukaemogenesis: RUNX1 abnormalities in acute leukaemias, GATA1 mutations in the leukaemias of Down syndrome, and SCL and LMO2 ectopic expression in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Asnafi V, Beldjord K, Libura M, et al.
Age-related phenotypic and oncogenic differences in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias may reflect thymic atrophy.
Blood. 2004; 104(13):4173-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Postnatal thymic involution occurs progressively throughout the first 3 decades of life. It predominantly affects T-cell receptor (TCR) alphabeta-lineage precursors, with a consequent proportional increase in multipotent thymic precursors. We show that T-acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALLs) demonstrate a similar shift with age from predominantly TCR expressing to an immature (IM0/delta/gamma) stage of maturation arrest. Half demonstrate HOX11, HOX11L2, SIL-TAL1, or CALM-AF10 deregulation, with each being associated with a specific, age-independent stage of maturation arrest. HOX11 and SIL-TAL represent alphabeta-lineage oncogenes, whereas HOX11L2 expression identifies an intermediate alphabeta/gammadelta-lineage stage of maturation arrest. In keeping with preferential alphabeta-lineage involution, the incidence of SIL-TAL1 and HOX11L2 deregulation decreased with age. In contrast, HOX11 deregulation became more frequent, suggesting longer latency. TAL1/LMO1 deregulation is more frequent in alphabeta-lineage T-ALL, when it is predominantly due to SIL-TAL1 rearrangements in children but to currently unknown mechanisms in adolescents and adults. LMO2 was more frequently coexpressed with LYL1, predominantly in IM0/delta/gamma adult cases, than with TAL1. These age-related changes in phenotype and oncogenic pathways probably reflect progressive changes in the thymic population at risk of malignant transformation.

Ferrando AA, Neuberg DS, Dodge RK, et al.
Prognostic importance of TLX1 (HOX11) oncogene expression in adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Lancet. 2004; 363(9408):535-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The activation of oncogenic transcription factors defines distinct molecular subsets of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and has prognostic relevance in children. We investigated the prognostic effect of the expression levels of eight oncogenic transcription factors--TLX1 (HOX11), TLX3 (HOX11L2), TAL1, TAL2, LYL1, OLIG2 (BHLHB1), LMO1, and LMO2--in 52 adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The leukaemia-specific survival rate for the 16 TLX1-positive patients was 88% (90% CI 73-100%), compared with 56% (42-70%) for all other cases (p=0.019). Only the TLX1 oncogene expression subgroup showed difference in leukaemia-specific survival. Our results suggest that overexpression of TLX1 confers a good outlook for adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Furthermore, our findings lead to questions about whether stem-cell transplantation in first remission is necessary for effective treatment of patients in the low-risk subgroup of patients with TLX1 oncogene expression.

Ferrando AA, Herblot S, Palomero T, et al.
Biallelic transcriptional activation of oncogenic transcription factors in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2004; 103(5):1909-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant expression of transcription factor oncogenes such as HOX11, HOX11L2, TAL1/SCL, LYL1, LMO1, and LMO2 can be detected in lymphoblasts from up to 80% of patients with acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Transcriptional activation of these oncogenes in leukemic cells typically results from chromosomal rearrangements that place them next to highly active cis-acting transcriptional regulatory elements. However, biallelic activation of TAL1 in some T-ALL cases has been previously proposed. We have used allele-specific mRNA analysis to show that trans-acting mechanisms leading to biallelic overexpression of TAL1 are involved in 10 (42%) of 24 TAL1+ informative T-ALL cases, 2 (17%) of 12 HOX11+ informative cases, and 7 (64%) of 11 LMO2+ informative cases. We propose that aberrant expression of oncogenic transcription factors in a significant fraction of T-ALLs may result from loss of the upstream transcriptional mechanisms that normally down-regulate the expression of these oncogenes during T-cell development.

Ferrando AA, Look AT
Gene expression profiling in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Semin Hematol. 2003; 40(4):274-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) presents a difficult medical problem. T-ALL's clinical features and the biological properties of the leukemia cells are not predictive of prognosis, and thus have not been useful for risk-specific adjustments in therapeutic intensity. Microarray gene expression analyses of T-cell leukemic lymphoblasts have not only improved our understanding of the biological heterogeneity of this disease but have revealed clinically relevant molecular subtypes. Five different multistep molecular pathways have been identified that lead to T-ALL, involving activation of different T-ALL oncogenes: (1) HOX11, (2) HOX11L2, (3) TAL1 plus LMO1/2, (4) LYL1 plus LMO2, and (5) MLL-ENL. Gene expression studies indicate activation of a subset of these genes-HOX11, TAL1, LYL1, LMO1, and LMO2-in a much larger fraction of T-ALL cases than those harboring activating chromosomal translocations. In many such cases, the abnormal expression of one or more of these oncogenes is biallelic, implicating upstream regulatory mechanisms. Among these molecular subtypes, overexpression of the HOX11 orphan homeobox gene occurs in approximately 5% to 10% of childhood and 30% of adult T-ALL cases. Patients with HOX11-positive lymphoblasts have an excellent prognosis when treated with modern combination chemotherapy, while cases at high risk of early failure are included largely in the TAL1- and LYL1-positive groups. Supervised learning approaches applied to microarray data have identified a group of genes whose expression is able to distinguish high-risk cases. Further analyses of gene expression signatures of T-ALL lymphoblasts are especially needed for patients treated on modern combination chemotherapy trials to clearly distinguish the 10% to 15% of patients who fail induction or relapse in the first year of treatment. These high-risk patients would be ideal candidates for more intensive therapies in first remission, such as myeloablative regimens with stem cell rescue. Based on the rapid pace of research in T-ALL, made possible in large part through microarray technology, deep analysis of molecular pathways should lead to new and much more specific targeted therapies.

Sutherland KD, Visvader JE, Choong DY, et al.
Mutational analysis of the LMO4 gene, encoding a BRCA1-interacting protein, in breast carcinomas.
Int J Cancer. 2003; 107(1):155-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The LIM domain-only genes LMO1 and LMO2 are translocated in acute T cell leukemia (T-ALL) and have been shown to be oncogenes in T lymphoid cells. LMO4, the fourth member of this family, is overexpressed in more than 50% of sporadic breast cancers, suggesting a role in breast oncogenesis. We recently found that LMO4 interacts with the breast/ovarian tumor suppressor BRCA1 and that LMO4 can repress its transcriptional activity. Since proto-oncogene deregulation can result from activating mutations in their coding or regulatory sequences, we explored whether the LMO4 gene undergoes somatic mutagenesis in breast cancer. Mutation analysis of the coding and 3' untranslated regions of the LMO4 gene was performed on 82 primary breast and 22 tumor cell lines. A somatic mutation was detected in one primary breast cancer, at the 3' end of exon 2, but was not present in normal DNA derived from the same patient. This mutation causes a frame-shift and potentially results in a truncated LMO4 polypeptide, LIM1(mut), lacking the second LIM domain. This mutant protein could still bind Ldb1 but no longer associated with CtIP or BRCA1. Our results show that somatic mutations within the LMO4 gene do occur in breast cancer but at a very low frequency. Thus, the primary mechanism by which LMO4 is deregulated in breast cancers appears to reflect overexpression of the gene rather than the acquisition of activating genetic mutations.

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