Gene Summary

Gene:BACH2; BTB domain and CNC homolog 2
Aliases: IMD60, BTBD25
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription regulator protein BACH2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (6)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 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.

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Gene Expression
  • DNA Methylation
  • Signal Transduction
  • MicroRNAs
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cancer RNA
  • Carcinoma
  • Translocation
  • Histones
  • Promoter Regions
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Stomach Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • ras Proteins
  • Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Base Sequence
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Transcription
  • Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin
  • Survival Rate
  • Chromosome 6
  • Apoptosis
  • Transfection
  • Virus Integration
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
  • Multiple Myeloma
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: BACH2 (cancer-related)

Chi VLD, Garaud S, De Silva P, et al.
Age-related changes in the BACH2 and PRDM1 genes in lymphocytes from healthy donors and chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Age-related genetic changes in lymphocyte subsets are not currently well documented. BACH2 is a transcription factor that plays an important role in immune-mediated homeostasis by tightly regulating PRDM1 expression in both B-cells and T-cells. BACH2 gene expression is highly sensitive to DNA damage in aged mice. This concept led us to investigate the variation in BACH2 and also PRDM1 expression in major lymphocyte subsets with age.
METHODS: Lymphocyte subsets from 60 healthy donors, aged from 20 to 90 years, and 41 untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients were studied. BACH2 and PRDM1 gene expression was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR. BACH2 gene expression was correlated with its protein expression. Lymphocyte apoptosis was evaluated after intracellular oxidative stress-inducing etoposide treatment of T and B cells.
RESULTS: Our analysis shows BACH2 mRNA downregulation with age in healthy donor CD4+, CD8+ T-cells and CD19+ B-cells. Decreased BACH2 expression was also correlated with an age-related reduction in CD8 + CD28+ T-cells. We found a strong correlation between age-related BACH2 downregulation and decreased CD4+ T-cell and CD19+ B-cell apoptosis. PRDM1, as expected, was significantly upregulated in CD4+ T-cells, CD8+ T-cells and CD19+ B-cells, and inversely correlated with BACH2. A comparison of untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with age-matched healthy donors reveals that BACH2 mRNA expression was further reduced in CD4+ T-cells, CD8+ T-cells and leukemic-B cells. PRDM1 gene expression was consequently significantly upregulated in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients but not in their leukemic B-cells.
CONCLUSION: Overall, our data suggest that BACH2 and PRDM1 genes are significantly correlated with age in human immune cells and may be involved in immunosenescence.

Yu X, Lao Y, Teng XL, et al.
SENP3 maintains the stability and function of regulatory T cells via BACH2 deSUMOylation.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3157 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Regulatory T (Treg) cells are essential for maintaining immune homeostasis and tolerance, but the mechanisms regulating the stability and function of Treg cells have not been fully elucidated. Here we show SUMO-specific protease 3 (SENP3) is a pivotal regulator of Treg cells that functions by controlling the SUMOylation and nuclear localization of BACH2. Treg cell-specific deletion of Senp3 results in T cell activation, autoimmune symptoms and enhanced antitumor T cell responses. SENP3-mediated BACH2 deSUMOylation prevents the nuclear export of BACH2, thereby repressing the genes associated with CD4

Kang X, Feng Y, Gan Z, et al.
NASP antagonize chromatin accessibility through maintaining histone H3K9me1 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2018; 1864(10):3438-3448 [PubMed] Related Publications
The regulation of histone deposits mediated by multi-chaperone complexes under physiological conditions remains to be further investigated. Here, we studied the function of nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (NASP) in the regulation of liver cancer. We found that NASP levels in liver tumors were generally higher than in normal liver tissues and NASP down-regulation inhibited liver cancer cells from forming tumors. We further analyzed cellular responses and epigenetic mechanisms of the histone H3-H4 shortage induced by NASP knockdown in liver cancer cells. The results showed that the major effects of NASP knockdown were globally enhanced chromatin accessibility, which facilitates transcription release, and failure of replication initiation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that NASP depletion led to a global decrease of histone H3K9me1 modification associated with newly H3 processing, which occurred directly at the promoters of up-regulated anti-tumor genes BACH2 and RunX1T1. This also resulted in a synergistic effect on enhanced apoptosis with Myc and p53 decreases. Overall, our work provides new insights into the roles of NASP in tumorigenesis and cancer prevention.

Yang Z, Chen JS, Wen JK, et al.
Silencing of miR-193a-5p increases the chemosensitivity of prostate cancer cells to docetaxel.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):178 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Docetaxel-based chemotherapy failure in advanced prostate carcinoma has partly been attributed to the resistance of prostate cancer (PC) cells to docetaxel-induced apoptosis. Hence, there is an urgent need to identify mechanisms of docetaxel chemoresistance and to develop new combination therapies.
METHODS: miR-193a-5p level was evaluated by qPCR in prostate tissues and cell lines, and its expression in the tissues was also examined by in situ hybridization. PC cell line (PC3 cell) was transfected with miR-193a-5p mimic or its inhibitor, and then cell apoptosis and the expression of its downstream genes Bach2 and HO-1 were detected by TUNEL staining and Western blotting. Luciferase reporter assay was used to detect the effect of miR-193a-5p and Bach2 on HO-1 expression. Xenograft animal model was used to test the effect of miR-193a-5p and docetaxel on PC3 xenograft growth.
RESULTS: miR-193a-5p was upregulated in PC tissues and PC cell lines, with significant suppression of PC3 cell apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. Mechanistically, miR-193a-5p suppressed the expression of Bach2, a repressor of the HO-1 gene, by directly targeting the Bach2 mRNA 3'-UTR. Docetaxel treatment modestly decreased Bach2 expression and increased HO-1 level in PC3 cells, whereas a modest increase of HO-1 facilitated docetaxel-induced apoptosis. Notably, docetaxel-induced miR-193a-5p upregulation, which in turn inhibits Bach2 expression and thus relieves Bach2 repression of HO-1 expression, partly counteracted docetaxel-induced apoptosis, as evidenced by the increased Bcl-2 and decreased Bax expression. Accordingly, silencing of miR-193a-5p enhanced sensitization of PC3 cells to docetaxel-induced apoptosis. Finally, depletion of miR-193a-5p significantly reduced PC xenograft growth in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Silencing of miR-193a-5p or blockade of the miR-193a-5p-Bach2-HO-1 pathway may be a novel therapeutic approach for castration-resistant PC.

Zhang H, Chen Z, Miranda RN, et al.
Bifurcated BACH2 control coordinates mantle cell lymphoma survival and dispersal during hypoxia.
Blood. 2017; 130(6):763-776 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACH2, a B-cell-specific transcription factor, plays a critical role in oxidative stress-mediated drug resistance in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL); however, the biological functions of BACH2 and its regulation of B-cell malignancies in chronic hypoxic microenvironment have not been studied. Here, we found that silencing BACH2 led to not only increased tumor formation and colony formation but also increased tumor dispersal to spleen and bone marrow. Decreased BACH2 levels in patients were also correlated with bone marrow and gastrointestinal dispersal of MCL and blastoid subtypes of MCL. Unexpectedly, decreased BACH2 levels in dispersed MCL cells were due to direct transcriptional repression by hypoxia-induced factor 1α (HIF-1α) and increased heme-mediated protein degradation. In normoxic conditions, BACH2 was able to modulate HIF-1α degradation by suppressing prolyl hydroxylase 3 expression. Bifurcated BACH2 controls during hypoxia and normoxia coordinate not only MCL tumor dispersal but also drug resistance, including bortezomib resistance, via plasmacytic differentiation. Our data highlight an interactive relationship between tumor cells and local microenvironment and the mechanisms of B-cell transcription factor in the regulation of MCL dispersal.

Chen X, Yue B, Zhang C, et al.
Biosci Rep. 2017; 37(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to explore the mechanism through which

Ge Z, Zhou X, Gu Y, et al.
Ikaros regulation of the BCL6/BACH2 axis and its clinical relevance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(5):8022-8034 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-Cell CLL/Lymphoma 6 (BCL6) is a proto-oncogene that is highly expressed in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). BTB and CNC Homology 1 Basic Leucine Zipper Transcription Factor 2 (BACH2) is a suppressor of transcription. The BACH2-BCL6 balance controls selection at the pre-B cell receptor checkpoint by regulating p53 expression. However, the underlying mechanism and the clinical relevance of the BCL6/BACH2 axis are unknown. Here, we found that Ikaros, a tumor suppressor encoded by IKZF1, directly binds to both the BCL6 and BACH2 promoters where it suppresses BCL6 and promotes BACH2 expression in B-cell ALL (B-ALL) cells. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) inhibitors increase Ikaros function thereby inhibiting BCL6 and promoting BACH2 expression in an Ikaros-dependent manner. We also found that the expression of BCL6 is higher while BACH2 expression is lower in patients with B-ALL than normal bone marrow control. High BCL6 and low BACH2 expression is associated with high leukemic cell proliferation, unfavorable clinical and laboratory features, and inferior outcomes. Moreover, IKZF1 deletion is associated with high BCL6 and low BACH2 expression in B-ALL patients. CK2 inhibitors increase Ikaros binding to the promoter of BCL6 and BACH2 and suppress BCL6 while promoting BACH2 expression in the primary B-ALL cells. Our data indicates that Ikaros regulates expression of the BCL6/BACH2 axis in B-ALL. High BCL6 and low BACH2 expression are associated with Ikaros dysregulation and have a potential effect on the development of B-ALL.

Mittermayr S, Lê GN, Clarke C, et al.
Polyclonal Immunoglobulin G N-Glycosylation in the Pathogenesis of Plasma Cell Disorders.
J Proteome Res. 2017; 16(2):748-762 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pathological progression from benign monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to smoldering myeloma (SMM) and finally to active myeloma (MM) is poorly understood. Abnormal immunoglobulin G (IgG) glycosylation in myeloma has been reported. Using a glycomic platform composed of hydrophilic interaction UPLC, exoglycosidase digestions, weak anion-exchange chromatography, and mass spectrometry, polyclonal IgG N-glycosylation profiles from 35 patients [MGUS (n = 8), SMM (n = 5), MM (n = 8), complete-response (CR) post-treatment (n = 5), relapse (n = 4), healthy age-matched control (n = 5)] were characterized to map glycan structures in distinct disease phases of multiple myeloma. N-Glycan profiles from MGUS resembled normal control. The abundance of neutral glycans containing terminal galactose was highest in SMM, while agalactosylated glycans and fucosylated glycans were lowest in MM. Three afucosyl-biantennary-digalactosylated-sialylated species (A2G2S1, A2BG2S1, and A2BG2S2) decreased 2.38-, 2.4-, and 4.25-fold, respectively, from benign to active myeloma. Increased light chain sialylation was observed in a longitudinal case of transformation from MGUS to MM. Bisecting N-acetylglucosamine was lowest in the CR group, while highest in relapsed disease. Gene expression levels of FUT 8, ST6GAL1, B4GALT1, RECK, and BACH2 identified from publicly available GEP data supported the glycomic changes seen in MM compared to control. The observed differential glycosylation underlined the heterogeneity of the myeloma spectrum. This study demonstrates the feasibility of mapping glycan modifications on the IgG molecule and provides proof of principle that differential IgG glycosylation patterns can be successfully identified in plasma cell disorders.

Ascierto ML, McMiller TL, Berger AE, et al.
The Intratumoral Balance between Metabolic and Immunologic Gene Expression Is Associated with Anti-PD-1 Response in Patients with Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2016; 4(9):726-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pretreatment tumor PD-L1 expression has been shown to correlate with response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies. Yet, most patients with PD-L1(+) tumors do not respond to treatment. The current study was undertaken to investigate mechanisms underlying the failure of PD-1-targeted therapies in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) whose tumors express PD-L1. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded pretreatment tumor biopsies expressing PD-L1 were derived from 13 RCC patients. RNA was isolated from PD-L1(+) regions and subjected to whole genome microarray and multiplex quantitative (q)RT-PCR gene expression analysis. A balance between gene expression profiles reflecting metabolic pathways and immune functions was associated with clinical outcomes following anti-PD-1 therapy. In particular, the expression of genes involved in metabolic and solute transport functions such as UGT1A family members, also found in kidney cancer cell lines, was associated with treatment failure in patients with PD-L1(+) RCC. Conversely, tumors from responding patients overexpressed immune markers such as BACH2, a regulator of CD4(+) T-cell differentiation, and CCL3 involved in leukocyte migration. These findings suggest that tumor cell-intrinsic metabolic factors may contribute to treatment resistance in RCC, thus serving as predictive markers for treatment outcomes and potential new targets for combination therapy regimens with anti-PD-1. Cancer Immunol Res; 4(9); 726-33. ©2016 AACRSee related Spotlight by Ohashi, p. 719.

Karim S, Mirza Z, Chaudhary AG, et al.
Assessment of Radiation Induced Therapeutic Effect and Cytotoxicity in Cancer Patients Based on Transcriptomic Profiling.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(2):250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Toxicity induced by radiation therapy is a curse for cancer patients undergoing treatment. It is imperative to understand and define an ideal condition where the positive effects notably outweigh the negative. We used a microarray meta-analysis approach to measure global gene-expression before and after radiation exposure. Bioinformatic tools were used for pathways, network, gene ontology and toxicity related studies. We found 429 differentially expressed genes at fold change >2 and p-value <0.05. The most significantly upregulated genes were synuclein alpha (SNCA), carbonic anhydrase I (CA1), X-linked Kx blood group (XK), glycophorin A and B (GYPA and GYPB), and hemogen (HEMGN), while downregulated ones were membrane-spanning 4-domains, subfamily A member 1 (MS4A1), immunoglobulin heavy constant mu (IGHM), chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7), BTB and CNC homology 1 transcription factor 2 (BACH2), and B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B). Pathway analysis revealed calcium-induced T lymphocyte apoptosis and the role of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) in regulation of the immune response as the most inhibited pathways, while apoptosis signaling was significantly activated. Most of the normal biofunctions were significantly decreased while cell death and survival process were activated. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed the immune system process as the most overrepresented group under the biological process category. Toxicity function analysis identified liver, kidney and heart to be the most affected organs during and after radiation therapy. The identified biomarkers and alterations in molecular pathways induced by radiation therapy should be further investigated to reduce the cytotoxicity and development of fatigue.

Flower KJ, Shenker NS, El-Bahrawy M, et al.
DNA methylation profiling to assess pathogenicity of BRCA1 unclassified variants in breast cancer.
Epigenetics. 2015; 10(12):1121-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Germline pathogenic mutations in BRCA1 increase risk of developing breast cancer. Screening for mutations in BRCA1 frequently identifies sequence variants of unknown pathogenicity and recent work has aimed to develop methods for determining pathogenicity. We previously observed that tumor DNA methylation can differentiate BRCA1-mutated from BRCA1-wild type tumors. We hypothesized that we could predict pathogenicity of variants based on DNA methylation profiles of tumors that had arisen in carriers of unclassified variants. We selected 150 FFPE breast tumor DNA samples [47 BRCA1 pathogenic mutation carriers, 65 BRCAx (BRCA1-wild type), 38 BRCA1 test variants] and analyzed a subset (n=54) using the Illumina 450K methylation platform, using the remaining samples for bisulphite pyrosequencing validation. Three validated markers (BACH2, C8orf31, and LOC654342) were combined with sequence bioinformatics in a model to predict pathogenicity of 27 variants (independent test set). Predictions were compared with standard multifactorial likelihood analysis. Prediction was consistent for c.5194-12G>A (IVS 19-12 G>A) (P>0.99); 13 variants were considered not pathogenic or likely not pathogenic using both approaches. We conclude that tumor DNA methylation data alone has potential to be used in prediction of BRCA1 variant pathogenicity but is not independent of estrogen receptor status and grade, which are used in current multifactorial models to predict pathogenicity.

Hunter JE, Butterworth JA, Zhao B, et al.
The NF-κB subunit c-Rel regulates Bach2 tumour suppressor expression in B-cell lymphoma.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(26):3476-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The REL gene, encoding the NF-κB subunit c-Rel, is frequently amplified in B-cell lymphoma and functions as a tumour-promoting transcription factor. Here we report the surprising result that c-rel-/- mice display significantly earlier lymphomagenesis in the c-Myc driven, Eμ-Myc model of B-cell lymphoma. c-Rel loss also led to earlier onset of disease in a separate TCL1-Tg-driven lymphoma model. Tumour reimplantation experiments indicated that this is an effect intrinsic to the Eμ-Myc lymphoma cells but, counterintuitively, c-rel-/- Eμ-Myc lymphoma cells were more sensitive to apoptotic stimuli. To learn more about why loss of c-Rel led to earlier onset of disease, microarray gene expression analysis was performed on B cells from 4-week-old, wild-type and c-rel-/- Eμ-Myc mice. Extensive changes in gene expression were not seen at this age, but among those transcripts significantly downregulated by the loss of c-Rel was the B-cell tumour suppressor BTB and CNC homology 2 (Bach2). Quantitative PCR and western blot analysis confirmed loss of Bach2 in c-Rel mutant Eμ-Myc tumours at both 4 weeks and the terminal stages of disease. Moreover, Bach2 expression was also downregulated in c-rel-/- TCL1-Tg mice and RelA Thr505Ala mutant Eμ-Myc mice. Analysis of wild-type Eμ-Myc mice demonstrated that the population expressing low levels of Bach2 exhibited the earlier onset of lymphoma seen in c-rel-/- mice. Confirming the relevance of these findings to human disease, analysis of chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data revealed that Bach2 is a c-Rel and NF-κB target gene in transformed human B cells, whereas treatment of Burkitt's lymphoma cells with inhibitors of the NF-κB/IκB kinase pathway or deletion of c-Rel or RelA resulted in loss of Bach2 expression. These data reveal a surprising tumour suppressor role for c-Rel in lymphoma development explained by regulation of Bach2 expression, underlining the context-dependent complexity of NF-κB signalling in cancer.

Gao F, Yang Y, Wang Z, et al.
BRAD4 plays a critical role in germinal center response by regulating Bcl-6 and NF-κB activation.
Cell Immunol. 2015; 294(1):1-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germinal center (GC) reaction is a T cell-dependent process in which activated B cells undergo clonal expansion and functional maturation to produce high affinity antibodies and differentiate into memory B cells(1). Here we demonstrate a new role of bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) protein BRD4 in GC B cell development. We found that during B cell differentiation stage there was an elevated expression of BRD4 in GC B cells and inhibition of BRD4 by small molecule inhibitors led to the suppression of GC formation and correspondent antibody responses in a Td antigen immunization model. At the molecular level, we found that the effects of BRD4 in primary GC B cell differentiation and B cell lymphoma were mediated through the impaired phosphorylation and translocation of NF-κBp65 and further down-regulation of B-cell lymphoma 6 (Bcl6) expression. Thus this study reveals a novel function of BRD4 in controlling the GC B cell development pathway.

Cao S, Strong MJ, Wang X, et al.
High-throughput RNA sequencing-based virome analysis of 50 lymphoma cell lines from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia project.
J Virol. 2015; 89(1):713-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Using high-throughput RNA sequencing data from 50 common lymphoma cell culture models from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia project, we performed an unbiased global interrogation for the presence of a panel of 740 viruses and strains known to infect human and other mammalian cells. This led to the findings of previously identified infections by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), and human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). In addition, we also found a previously unreported infection of one cell line (DEL) with a murine leukemia virus. High expression of murine leukemia virus (MuLV) transcripts was observed in DEL cells, and we identified four transcriptionally active integration sites, one being in the TNFRSF6B gene. We also found low levels of MuLV reads in a number of other cell lines and provided evidence suggesting cross-contamination during sequencing. Analysis of HTLV-1 integrations in two cell lines, HuT 102 and MJ, identified 14 and 66 transcriptionally active integration sites with potentially activating integrations in immune regulatory genes, including interleukin-15 (IL-15), IL-6ST, STAT5B, HIVEP1, and IL-9R. Although KSHV and EBV do not typically integrate into the genome, we investigated a previously identified integration of EBV into the BACH2 locus in Raji cells. This analysis identified a BACH2 disruption mechanism involving splice donor sequestration. Through viral gene expression analysis, we detected expression of stable intronic RNAs from the EBV BamHI W repeats that may be part of long transcripts spanning the repeat region. We also observed transcripts at the EBV vIL-10 locus exclusively in the Hodgkin's lymphoma cell line, Hs 611.T, the expression of which were uncoupled from other lytic genes. Assessment of the KSHV viral transcriptome in BCP-1 cells showed expression of the viral immune regulators, K2/vIL-6, K4/vIL-8-like vCCL1, and K5/E2-ubiquitin ligase 1 that was significantly higher than expression of the latency-associated nuclear antigen. Together, this investigation sheds light into the virus composition across these lymphoma model systems and provides insights into common viral mechanistic principles.
IMPORTANCE: Viruses cause cancer in humans. In lymphomas the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) and human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 are major contributors to oncogenesis. We assessed virus-host interactions using a high throughput sequencing method that facilitates the discovery of new virus-host associations and the investigation into how the viruses alter their host environment. We found a previously unknown murine leukemia virus infection in one cell line. We identified cellular genes, including cytokine regulators, that are disrupted by virus integration, and we determined mechanisms through which virus integration causes deregulation of cellular gene expression. Investigation into the KSHV transcriptome in the BCP-1 cell line revealed high-level expression of immune signaling genes. EBV transcriptome analysis showed expression of vIL-10 transcripts in a Hodgkin's lymphoma that was uncoupled from lytic genes. These findings illustrate unique mechanisms of viral gene regulation and to the importance of virus-mediated host immune signaling in lymphomas.

Scholtysik R, Kreuz M, Hummel M, et al.
Characterization of genomic imbalances in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by detailed SNP-chip analysis.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(5):1033-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) is only partly understood. We analyzed 148 DLBCL by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-chips to characterize genomic imbalances. Seventy-nine cases were of the germinal center B-cell like (GCB) type of DLBCL, 49 of the activated B-cell like (ABC) subtype and 20 were unclassified DLBCL. Twenty-four regions of recurrent genomic gains and 38 regions of recurrent genomic losses were identified over the whole cohort, with a median of 25 imbalances per case for ABC-DLBCL and 19 per case for GCB-DLBCL. Several recurrent copy number changes showed differential frequencies in the GCB- and ABC-DLBCL subgroups, including gains of HDAC7A predominantly in GCB-DLBCL (38% of cases) and losses of BACH2 and CASP8AP2 predominantly in ABC-DLBCL (35%), hinting at disparate pathogenetic mechanisms in these entities. Correlating gene expression and copy number revealed a strong gene dosage effect in all tumors, with 34% of probesets showing a concordant expression change in affected regions. Two new potential tumor suppressor genes emerging from the analysis, CASP3 and IL5RA, were sequenced in ten and 16 candidate cases, respectively. However, no mutations were found, pointing to a potential haploinsufficiency effect of these genes, considering their reduced expression in cases with deletions. Our study thus describes differences and similarities in the landscape of genomic aberrations in the DLBCL subgroups in a large collection of cases, confirming already known targets, but also discovering novel copy number changes with possible pathogenetic relevance.

Haam K, Kim HJ, Lee KT, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of BTB and CNC homology 2 and concerted promoter CpG methylation in gastric cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 351(2):206-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
BTB and CNC homology 2 (BACH2) is a lymphoid-specific transcription factor with a prominent role in B-cell development. Genetic polymorphisms within a single locus encoding BACH2 are associated with various autoimmune diseases and allergies. In this study, restriction landmark genomic scanning revealed methylation at a NotI site in a CpG island covering the BACH2 promoter in gastric cancer cell lines and primary gastric tumors. Increased methylation of the BACH2 promoter was observed in 52% (43/83) of primary gastric tumors, and BACH2 hypermethylation was significantly associated with decreased gene expression. Treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or trichostatin. A restored BACH2 expression in BACH2-silenced gastric cancer cell lines, and knockdown of BACH2 using short hairpin RNA (i.e. RNA interference) increased cell proliferation in gastric cancer cells. Clinicopathologic data showed that decreased BACH2 expression occurred significantly more frequently in intestinal-type (27/44, 61%) compared with diffuse-type (13/50, 26%) gastric cancers (P<0.001). Furthermore, BACH2 promoter methylation paralleled that of previously identified targets, such as LRRC3B, LIMS2, PRKD1 and POPDC3, in a given set of gastric tumors. We propose that concerted methylation in many promoters plays a role in accelerating gastric tumor formation and that methylated promoter loci may be targets for therapeutic treatment, such as the recently introduced technique of epigenetic editing.

Kharabi Masouleh B, Geng H, Hurtz C, et al.
Mechanistic rationale for targeting the unfolded protein response in pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(21):E2219-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, a stress-induced signaling cascade emanating from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), regulates the expression and activity of molecules including BiP (HSPA5), IRE1 (ERN1), Blimp-1 (PRDM1), and X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1). These molecules are required for terminal differentiation of B cells into plasma cells and expressed at high levels in plasma cell-derived multiple myeloma. Although these molecules have no known role at early stages of B-cell development, here we show that their expression transiently peaks at the pre-B-cell receptor checkpoint. Inducible, Cre-mediated deletion of Hspa5, Prdm1, and Xbp1 consistently induces cellular stress and cell death in normal pre-B cells and in pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) driven by BCR-ABL1- and NRAS(G12D) oncogenes. Mechanistically, expression and activity of the UPR downstream effector XBP1 is regulated positively by STAT5 and negatively by the B-cell-specific transcriptional repressors BACH2 and BCL6. In two clinical trials for children and adults with ALL, high XBP1 mRNA levels at the time of diagnosis predicted poor outcome. A small molecule inhibitor of ERN1-mediated XBP1 activation induced selective cell death of patient-derived pre-B ALL cells in vitro and significantly prolonged survival of transplant recipient mice in vivo. Collectively, these studies reveal that pre-B ALL cells are uniquely vulnerable to ER stress and identify the UPR pathway and its downstream effector XBP1 as novel therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance in pre-B ALL.

Ichikawa S, Fukuhara N, Katsushima H, et al.
Association between BACH2 expression and clinical prognosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(4):437-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACH2, a B cell-specific transcriptional repressor, plays a significant role in B cell maturation. Despite a number of previous studies, the clinicopathological significance of BACH2 expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) remains to be established. The present study was performed to validate the significance of BACH2 expression as a predictor of prognosis in DLBCL. A total of 94 DLBCL cases were included in the present study. All were diagnosed between 2008 and 2011, and thorough clinical and pathological investigations were possible, including immunohistochemical analysis of BACH2. Eighteen cases were selected by positive MYC gene alteration (MYC+ group) according to cytogenetic study. The remaining 76 cases were subclassified into germinal center B cell phenotype (GCB group, 38 cases) or non-GCB phenotype (non-GCB group, 38 cases). There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to clinical characteristics and outcomes. In the GCB group, 21 cases were judged to have high BACH2 expression, with 19 cases in the non-GCB group. In cases with high BACH2 expression in GCB and non-GCB groups, the 3-year overall survival (OS) rate was significantly shorter than that with low expression (71.7% vs 91.3%, P = 0.0256). In the MYC+ group, 15 cases had high BACH2 expression levels. Although overall the MYC+ group showed short survival time (3-year OS 35.0%), 3 out of 4 cases with low BACH2 expression are alive without disease relapse at the time of publication of this paper. In conclusion, BACH2 expression level is a promising predictor of prognosis for DLBCL.

Swaminathan S, Duy C, Müschen M
BACH2-BCL6 balance regulates selection at the pre-B cell receptor checkpoint.
Trends Immunol. 2014; 35(3):131-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
At the pre-B cell receptor (BCR) checkpoint, developing pre-B cells are selected for successful rearrangement of V(H)-DJ(H) gene segments and expression of a pre-BCR. Reduced stringency at this checkpoint may obstruct the B cell repertoire with nonfunctional B cell clones. Earlier studies have described that activation of B cell lymphoma/leukemia (BCL)6 by a functional pre-BCR mediates positive selection of pre-B cells that have passed the checkpoint. This concept is now further elaborated by the recent finding that the BTB and CNC homology 1 basic leucine zipper transcription factor 2 (BACH2) induces negative selection and opposes BCL6 function prior to the pre-BCR checkpoint. Here, we discuss the antagonism between BCL6 and BACH2 during early B cell development, as well as its implications in both repertoire selection and counter-selection of premalignant clones for leukemia suppression.

Chen Z, Pittman EF, Romaguera J, et al.
Nuclear translocation of B-cell-specific transcription factor, BACH2, modulates ROS mediated cytotoxic responses in mantle cell lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e69126 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACH2, a B-cell specific transcription factor, plays a critical role in oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis. Bortezomib (Velcade(TM)) is widely used to treat relapsed mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) patients despite varying clinical outcomes. As one of the potential mechanisms of action, bortezomib was reported to elicit endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress which triggers reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the present study, we investigated the redox-sensitive intracellular mechanism that might play a critical role in bortezomib response in MCL cells. We demonstrated that in MCL cells that are sensitive to bortezomib treatments, BACH2 was translocated to the nucleus in response to bortezomib and induced apoptotic responses through the modulation of anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic genes. On the other hand, in bortezomib resistant cells, BACH2 expression was confined in the cytoplasm and no suppression of antiapoptotic or antioxidative genes, Nrf2, Gss, CAT, HO-1 and MCL1, was detected. Importantly, levels of BACH2 were significantly higher in bortezomib sensitive MCL patient cells, indicating that BACH2 levels could be an indicator for clinical bortezomib responses. BACH2 translocation to the cytoplasm after phosphorylation was inhibited by PI3K inhibitors and combinatory regimens of bortezomib and PI3K inhibitors sensitized MCL cells to bortezomib. These data suggest that cellular distribution of BACH2 in response to ROS determines the threshold for the induction of apoptosis. Therapies that inhibit BACH2 phosphorylation could be the key for increasing bortezomib cytotoxic response in patients.

Kikuchi T, Tokunaka M, Kikuti YY, et al.
Over-expression of BACH2 is related to ongoing somatic hypermutation of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene variable region of de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Pathol Int. 2013; 63(7):339-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The basic region-leucine zipper (bZip) factor BTB, CNC homology 2 (BACH2) is known to have important roles in class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of the immunoglobulin (Ig) gene. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the expression of BACH2 and the status of SHM of the Ig heavy chain gene variable region (IgHV) for SHM in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We examined 20 cases of DLBCL, 13 of which were germinal center B-cell (GCB) DLBCL and 7 were non-GCB DLBCL. Seven cases were negative, 6 were positive (cytoplasmic expression) and 7 were strongly positive (both nuclear and cytoplasmic expression) for BACH2. Confirmed mutation (CM) was identified in 8 cases and the CM index (number of confirmed mutations per 10 subclones) was distributed from 0 to 5. A CM index of 7 strongly positive (over-expression) cases with BACH2 were distributed from 0 to 5, and that of 7 negative and 6 positive cases were distributed from 0 to 1. Over-expression of BACH2 was statistically related to CM index (P = 0.008). In conclusion, over-expression of BACH2 is critical for ongoing SHM of IgHV in DLBCL, and our data suggest that BACH2 may play an essential role for SHM of the Ig gene in B-cell lymphoma.

Kobayashi T, Tsutsumi Y, Sakamoto N, et al.
Double-hit lymphomas constitute a highly aggressive subgroup in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas in the era of rituximab.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2012; 42(11):1035-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The incorporation of rituximab in immunochemotherapy has improved treatment outcomes for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, but the prognosis for some diffuse large B-cell lymphomas remains dismal. Identification of adverse prognostic subgroups is essential for the choice of appropriate therapeutic strategy.
METHODS: We retrospectively investigated the impact of so-called 'double-hit' cytogenetic abnormalities, i.e. cytogenetic abnormalities involving c-MYC co-existing with other poor prognostic cytogenetic abnormalities involving BCL2, BCL6 or BACH2, on treatment outcomes for 93 consecutive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients.
RESULTS: According to the revised international prognostic index, no patients were cytogenetically diagnosed with double-hit lymphomas in the 'very good' risk group or in the 'good' risk group, while 5 of 33 patients had double-hit lymphomas in the 'poor' risk group. All the double-hit lymphoma patients possessed both nodal and extranodal involvement. The overall complete response rate was 89.3%, overall survival 87.1% and progression-free survival 75.8% over 2 years (median observation period: 644 days). The complete response rates were 93.2% for the non-double-hit lymphoma patients and 40.0% for the double-hit lymphoma patients. Significantly longer progression-free survival and overall survival were observed for the 'very good' and the 'good' risk patients than for the 'poor' risk patients. Moreover, the progression-free survival of double-hit lymphoma was significantly shorter than that of the non-double-hit lymphoma 'poor' risk patients (P = 0.016). In addition, the overall survival of the double-hit lymphoma patients also tended to be shorter than that of the non-double-hit lymphoma 'poor' risk group.
CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of double-hit lymphoma can help discriminate a subgroup of highly aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and indicate the need for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for double-hit lymphoma.

Takata K, Sato Y, Nakamura N, et al.
Duodenal follicular lymphoma lacks AID but expresses BACH2 and has memory B-cell characteristics.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(1):22-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have reported previously that duodenal follicular lymphoma (FL) is distinct from nodal FL and showed more resemblance to mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, and that FL frequently involved the duodenal second portion. In the present study, we examined duodenal FLs and gastric/colonic FLs to clarify the clinicopathological and immunological differences between the tumor types. We analyzed 8 samples of gastric FL, 17 of duodenal ones, and 5 of colonic/rectal ones, and characterized them by immunohistochemistry, immunogenotyping, and histology. Gastric and colonic FLs presented in submucosal to subserosal areas, whereas duodenal ones presented in the mucosal to submucosal layers. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that duodenal FLs exhibited the following phenotypes: CD10 (+), B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) (+), BCL-6 (+), activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) (-), BACH2 (+), CD27 (+), MUM-1 (-), Blimp-1 (-), and loose CD21 network (duodenal pattern). Gastric/colonic FLs exhibited the following phenotypes: CD10 (+), BCL-2 (+), BCL-6 (+), AID (+), BACH2 (+), CD27 (-), MUM-1 (-), Blimp-1 (-), and a dense CD21 network (nodal pattern). Expression of AID and CD27 in lymphoma cells and the CD21 network pattern were considerably different between duodenal FLs and gastric/colonic ones. Moreover, in situ hybridization revealed that, in the duodenal FLs, BACH2 was expressed at the periphery of the tumor follicle and tumor villi. The number of immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable domains VH4 and VH5 were higher in duodenal follicular lymphomoas than in gastric FLs. The lymphoma cells of duodenal FLs are different from those of gastric/colonic FLs, and duodenal FL is distinct even within the gastrointestinal tract. Somatic hypermutation in immunoglobulin genes and CD27 expression are hallmarks of memory B cells. We suggest that duodenal FL cells are in the memory B-cell stage, and require BACH2 instead of AID for ongoing mutation.

Jiang Y, Soong TD, Wang L, et al.
Genome-wide detection of genes targeted by non-Ig somatic hypermutation in lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40332 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The processes of somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination introduced by activation-induced cytosine deaminase (AICDA) at the Immunoglobulin (Ig) loci are key steps for creating a pool of diversified antibodies in germinal center B cells (GCBs). Unfortunately, AICDA can also accidentally introduce mutations at bystander loci, particularly within the 5' regulatory regions of proto-oncogenes relevant to diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCL). Since current methods for genomewide sequencing such as Exon Capture and RNAseq only target mutations in coding regions, to date non-Ig promoter SHMs have been studied only in a handful genes. We designed a novel approach integrating bioinformatics tools with next generation sequencing technology to identify regulatory loci targeted by SHM genome-wide. We observed increased numbers of SHM associated sequence variant hotspots in lymphoma cells as compared to primary normal germinal center B cells. Many of these SHM hotspots map to genes that have not been reported before as mutated, including BACH2, BTG2, CXCR4, CIITA, EBF1, PIM2, and TCL1A, etc., all of which have potential roles in B cell survival, differentiation, and malignant transformation. In addition, using BCL6 and BACH2 as examples, we demonstrated that SHM sites identified in these 5' regulatory regions greatly altered their transcription activities in a reporter assay. Our approach provides a first cost-efficient, genome-wide method to identify regulatory mutations and non-Ig SHM hotspots.

Alvarez A, Woolf PJ
RegNetB: predicting relevant regulator-gene relationships in localized prostate tumor samples.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2011; 12:243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A central question in cancer biology is what changes cause a healthy cell to form a tumor. Gene expression data could provide insight into this question, but it is difficult to distinguish between a gene that causes a change in gene expression from a gene that is affected by this change. Furthermore, the proteins that regulate gene expression are often themselves not regulated at the transcriptional level. Here we propose a Bayesian modeling framework we term RegNetB that uses mechanistic information about the gene regulatory network to distinguish between factors that cause a change in expression and genes that are affected by the change. We test this framework using human gene expression data describing localized prostate cancer progression.
RESULTS: The top regulatory relationships identified by RegNetB include the regulation of RLN1, RLN2, by PAX4, the regulation of ACPP (PAP) by JUN, BACH1 and BACH2, and the co-regulation of PGC and GDF15 by MAZ and TAF8. These target genes are known to participate in tumor progression, but the suggested regulatory roles of PAX4, BACH1, BACH2, MAZ and TAF8 in the process is new.
CONCLUSION: Integrating gene expression data and regulatory topologies can aid in identifying potentially causal mechanisms for observed changes in gene expression.

Vassiliou GS, Cooper JL, Rad R, et al.
Mutant nucleophosmin and cooperating pathways drive leukemia initiation and progression in mice.
Nat Genet. 2011; 43(5):470-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a molecularly diverse malignancy with a poor prognosis whose largest subgroup is characterized by somatic mutations in NPM1, which encodes nucleophosmin. These mutations, termed NPM1c, result in cytoplasmic dislocation of nucleophosmin and are associated with distinctive transcriptional signatures, yet their role in leukemogenesis remains obscure. Here we report that activation of a humanized Npm1c knock-in allele in mouse hemopoietic stem cells causes Hox gene overexpression, enhanced self renewal and expanded myelopoiesis. One third of mice developed delayed-onset AML, suggesting a requirement for cooperating mutations. We identified such mutations using a Sleeping Beauty transposon, which caused rapid-onset AML in 80% of mice with Npm1c, associated with mutually exclusive integrations in Csf2, Flt3 or Rasgrp1 in 55 of 70 leukemias. We also identified recurrent integrations in known and newly discovered leukemia genes including Nf1, Bach2, Dleu2 and Nup98. Our results provide new pathogenetic insights and identify possible therapeutic targets in NPM1c+ AML.

Türkmen S, Riehn M, Klopocki E, et al.
A BACH2-BCL2L1 fusion gene resulting from a t(6;20)(q15;q11.2) chromosomal translocation in the lymphoma cell line BLUE-1.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011; 50(6):389-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormalities of the long arm of chromosome 6 are a common feature in various B-cell malignancies. In most cases, the genes involved have not yet been clearly identified. We have molecularly characterized the recently established Burkitt lymphoma cell line BLUE-1 that carries a t(6;20)(q15;q11.2) rearrangement in addition to the typical t(8;14) with MYC-IGH fusion. To identify the gene loci involved on both chromosomes we applied a sequential BAC clone mapping strategy. By using RT-PCR we were finally able to detect a chimeric mRNA transcript showing a fusion of the first (non-coding) exon of BACH2 (BTB and CNC homology 1, basic leucine zipper transcription factor 2) on 6q15 to the second exon of BCL2L1 (BCL-X) on 20q11. Various fusion transcripts were detected for different BCL2L1 (BCL-XL) isoforms. The fusion ultimately results in strong expression of the BCL2L1 (BCL-XL) anti-apoptosis protein, as demonstrated by immunoblotting. This is the first report that shows the involvement of both BCL2L1 and the transcription factor BACH2 in a chromosomal rearrangement. It points to BACH2 as a possibly important target in lymphomas with 6q aberrations, although other genes on 6q are probably also involved in these cases. Moreover, it suggests that members of the BCL2 anti-apoptosis gene family other than BCL2 itself might also be involved in lymphoma.

Kobayashi S, Taki T, Chinen Y, et al.
Identification of IGHCδ-BACH2 fusion transcripts resulting from cryptic chromosomal rearrangements of 14q32 with 6q15 in aggressive B-cell lymphoma/leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2011; 50(4):207-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
In B-cell malignancies, genes implicated in B-cell differentiation, germinal center formation, apoptosis, and cell cycle regulation are juxtaposed to immunoglobulin loci through chromosomal translocations. In this study, we identified the BTB and CNC homology 2 (BACH2) gene as a novel translocation partner of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) locus in a patient with IGH-MYC-positive, highly aggressive B-cell lymphoma/leukemia carrying der(14)t(8;14) and del(6)(q15). Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis using an IGH/MYC probe detected an IGH-MYC fusion signal on der(14) and IGH signal on del(6). Genome copy number analysis showed a deletion in the 6q15-25 region and a centromeric breakpoint within the BACH2 gene. cDNA bubble polymerase chain reaction using BACH2 primers revealed that the first exon of Cδ was fused to the 5'-untranslated region of BACH2 exon 2. The Cδ-BACH2 fusion transcript consisted of exon 1 of Cδ and exons 2 to 9 of BACH2, encompassing the entire BACH2 coding region, and the BACH2 was highly expressed in this patient. These results indicate that Cδ-BACH2 fusion may cause constitutive activation of BACH2. Although additional screening of 47 samples of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL) patients and 29 cell lines derived from B-cell malignancies by double-color fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis detected a split signal with deletion of centromeric region of BACH2 only in a patient with follicular lymphoma, BACH2 was highly expressed in lymphoma cells of the patient and B-NHL cell lines with IGH-MYC translocation. These findings suggest that BACH2 plays a critical role in B-cell lymphomagenesis, especially related to IGH-MYC translocation in some way.

Gutiérrez NC, Sarasquete ME, Misiewicz-Krzeminska I, et al.
Deregulation of microRNA expression in the different genetic subtypes of multiple myeloma and correlation with gene expression profiling.
Leukemia. 2010; 24(3):629-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Specific microRNA (miRNA) signatures have been associated with different cytogenetic subtypes in acute leukemias. This finding prompted us to investigate potential associations between genetic abnormalities in multiple myeloma (MM) and singular miRNA expression profiles. Moreover, global gene expression profiling was also analyzed to find correlated miRNA gene expression and select miRNA target genes that show such correlation. For this purpose, we analyzed the expression level of 365 miRNAs and the gene expression profiling in 60 newly diagnosed MM patients, selected to represent the most relevant recurrent genetic abnormalities. Supervised analysis showed significantly deregulated miRNAs in the different cytogenetic subtypes as compared with normal PC. It is interesting to note that miR-1 and miR-133a clustered on the same chromosomal loci, were specifically overexpressed in the cases with t(14;16). The analysis of the relationship between miRNA expression and their respective target genes showed a conserved inverse correlation between several miRNAs deregulated in MM cells and CCND2 expression level. These results illustrate, for the first time, that miRNA expression pattern in MM is associated with genetic abnormalities, and that the correlation of the expression profile of miRNA and their putative mRNA targets is useful to find statistically significant protein-coding genes in MM pathogenesis associated with changes in specific miRNAs.

Middendorp S, Xiao Y, Song JY, et al.
Mice deficient for CD137 ligand are predisposed to develop germinal center-derived B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2009; 114(11):2280-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the germinal center (GC), B cells proliferate dramatically and diversify their immunoglobulin genes, which increases the risk of malignant transformation. The GC B-cell reaction relies on crosstalk with follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), to which the costimulatory receptor CD137 on FDCs and its ligand on GC B cells potentially contribute. We report that mice deficient for CD137 ligand (CD137L) are predisposed to develop B-cell lymphoma, with an incidence of approximately 60% at 12 months of age. Lymphoma membrane markers were characteristic of GC B cells. Longitudinal histologic analysis identified the GC as site of oncogenic transformation and classified 85% of the malignancies found in approximately 200 mice as GC-derived B-cell lymphoma. To delineate the mechanism underlying lymphomagenesis, gene expression profiles of wild-type and CD137L-deficient GC B cells were compared. CD137L deficiency was associated with enhanced expression of a limited gene set that included Bcl-10 and the GC response regulators Bcl-6, Spi-B, Elf-1, Bach2, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase. Among these are proto-oncogenes that mediate GC B-cell lymphoma development in humans. We conclude that CD137L ordinarily regulates the GC B-cell response and thereby acts as a tumor suppressor.

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