TNFSF13B

Gene Summary

Gene:TNFSF13B; TNF superfamily member 13b
Aliases: DTL, BAFF, BLYS, CD257, TALL1, THANK, ZTNF4, TALL-1, TNLG7A, TNFSF20
Location:13q33.3
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine that belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family. This cytokine is a ligand for receptors TNFRSF13B/TACI, TNFRSF17/BCMA, and TNFRSF13C/BAFFR. This cytokine is expressed in B cell lineage cells, and acts as a potent B cell activator. It has been also shown to play an important role in the proliferation and differentiation of B cells. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 13B
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (18)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 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.

  • Case-Control Studies
  • B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor
  • B-Cell Maturation Antigen
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Risk Factors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Genetic Variation
  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • Cell Survival
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 13
  • NF-kappa B
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors
  • Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 13
  • Gene Expression
  • Signal Transduction
  • Survival Rate
  • Disease Progression
  • Apoptosis
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Western Blotting
  • RTPCR
  • TNF
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • B-Cell Lymphoma
  • Promoter Regions
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Staging
  • Messenger RNA
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • bcl-X Protein
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 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: TNFSF13B (cancer-related)

Jasek M, Bojarska-Junak A, Wagner M, et al.
Association of variants in BAFF (rs9514828 and rs1041569) and BAFF-R (rs61756766) genes with the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13617-13626 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The B-cell activator factor (BAFF)/BAFF receptor (BAFF-R) axis seems to play an important role in the development and progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we investigated the association of eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the BAFF (TNFSF13B) and BAFF-R (TNFRSF13C) genes with risk of sporadic CLL in a group of 439 CLL patients and 477 controls. We also examined the correlation between selected SNPs and CLL clinical parameters as well as BAFF plasma levels and intracellular BAFF expression. Our results point to a possible association between the rs9514828 (CT vs. CC + TT; OR = 0.74; CI 95 % = 0.57; 0.97; p = 0.022) and rs1041569 (AT vs. AA + TT; OR = 0.72; CI 95 % = 0.54; 0.95; p = 0.021) of BAFF gene and rs61756766 (CC vs. CT; OR = 2.03; CI 95 % = 1.03; 3.99; p = 0.03) of BAFF-R gene and CLL risk. Additionally, we observed that homozygotes rs1041569 AA and TT had a slightly higher risk (HR = 1.12) for the need of treatment in comparison to AT heterozygotes. In conclusion, our results indicate that SNPs in BAFF and BAFF-R genes may be considered as potential CLL risk factors.

Liu M, Song W, Zhang J, et al.
Non-canonical NF-κB Plays a Pivotal Role in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015; 72(3):681-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study tried to dissect BAFF/BAFF-R-mediated non-canonical NF-κB signaling in the drug resistance of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. FQ-PCR was employ to determine the mRNA expression of BAFF, BAFF-R, Bcl-xL, and RIPK2 in the circulating blood of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. Further correlation studies were performed with the gene expression in the circulating blood and tumor tissue. MTT assay as used to determine BAFF's role on lymphoma cell proliferation. Western blot was employed to determine protein expression after BAFF stimulation. The mRNA expression of BAFF, BAFF-R, Bcl-xL, and RIPK2 in the circulating blood of the resistant group was higher than that of the non-resistant group, which was statistically significant. The mRNA expression of the target genes was positively correlated. The mRNA expression was positively correlated with disease progression, which was statistically significant. The Bcl-xL mRNA expression in the resistant group was relatively higher than that in the non-resistant group, which was also statistically significant. However, the mRNA expression of other genes only showed increased tendency compared with non-resistant group. There was no significant change between target genes in different tumor tissues. With increased BAFF concentration and prolonged exposure, the proliferation of the tumor cells increased significantly, which was statistically significant. Western blot showed the expression of BAFF, BAFF-R, Bcl-xL, and RIPK2 all increased with increased BAFF concentration, which was also statistically significant. In B-cell, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, BAFF may activate non-canonical NF-κB signaling to regulate drug resistance.

Benamar M, Guessous F, Du K, et al.
Inactivation of the CRL4-CDT2-SET8/p21 ubiquitylation and degradation axis underlies the therapeutic efficacy of pevonedistat in melanoma.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 10:85-100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The cullin-based CRL4-CDT2 ubiquitin ligase is emerging as a master regulator of cell proliferation. CRL4-CDT2 prevents re-initiation of DNA replication during the same cell cycle "rereplication" through targeted degradation of CDT1, SET8 and p21 during S-phase of the cell cycle. We show that CDT2 is overexpressed in cutaneous melanoma and predicts poor overall and disease-free survival. CDT2 ablation inhibited a panel of melanoma cell lines through the induction of SET8- and p21-dependent DNA rereplication and senescence. Pevonedistat (MLN4924), a specific inhibitor of the NEDD8 activating enzyme (NAE), inhibits the activity of cullin E3 ligases, thereby stabilizing a vast number of cullin substrates and resulting in cancer cell inhibition in vitro and tumor suppression in nude mice. We demonstrate that pevonedistat is effective at inhibiting the proliferation of melanoma cell lines in vitro through the induction of rereplication-dependent permanent growth arrest as well as through a transient, non-rereplication-dependent mechanism. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated heterozygous deletion of CDKN1A (encoding p21) or SET8 in melanoma cells demonstrated that the rereplication-mediated cytotoxicity of pevonedistat is mediated through preventing the degradation of p21 and SET8 and is essential for melanoma suppression in nude mice. By contrast, pevonedistat-induced transient growth suppression was independent of p21 or SET8, and insufficient to inhibit tumor growth in vivo. Pevonedistat additionally synergized with the BRAF kinase inhibitor PLX4720 to inhibit BRAF melanoma, and suppressed PLX4720-resistant melanoma cells. These findings demonstrate that the CRL4-CDT2-SET8/p21 degradation axis is the primary target of inhibition by pevonedistat in melanoma and suggest that a broad patient population may benefit from pevonedistat therapy.
RESEARCH IN CONTEXT: The identification of new molecular targets and effective inhibitors is of utmost significance for the clinical management of melanoma. This study identifies CDT2, a substrate receptor for the CRL4 ubiquitin ligase, as a prognostic marker and therapeutic target in melanoma. CDT2 is required for melanoma cell proliferation and inhibition of CRL4(CDT2) by pevonedistat suppresses melanoma in vitro and in vivo through the induction of DNA rereplication and senescence through the stabilization of the CRL4(CDT2) substrates p21 and SET8. Pevonedistat also synergizes with vemurafenib in vivo and suppresses vemurafenib-resistant melanoma cells. These findings show a significant promise for targeting CRL4(CDT2) therapeutically.

Hsiao LT, Wang HY, Yang CF, et al.
Human Cytokine Genetic Variants Associated With HBsAg Reverse Seroconversion in Rituximab-Treated Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(11):e3064 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation has been noted in HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)-seronegative patients with CD20 B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) undergoing rituximab treatment. Clinically, hepatitis flares are usually associated with the reappearance of HBsAg (reverse seroconversion of HBsAg, HBV-RS). It is unclear whether human genetic factors are related to rituximab-associated HBV reactivation. Unvaccinated HBsAg-seronegative adults (n = 104) with CD20 NHL who had received rituximab-containing therapy without anti-HBV prophylaxis were enrolled. Eighty-nine candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 49 human cytokine genes were chosen and were analyzed using the iPLEX technique. Competing risk regression was used to identify the factors associated with HBV-RS. Participants had a median age of 66.1 years and 56.7% were male (n = 59). The anti-HBs and anti-HBc positivity rates were 82.4% and 94.1%, respectively, among patients for whom data were available (approximately 81%). A mean of 7.14 cycles of rituximab therapy were administered, and a total of 14 (13.4%) patients developed HBV-RS. Nine SNPs showed significant differences in frequency between patients with or without HBV-RS: CD40 rs1883832, IL4 rs2243248 and rs2243263, IL13 rs1295686, IL18 rs243908, IL20 rs1518108, and TNFSF13B rs12428930 and rs12583006. Multivariate analysis showed that ≥6 cycles of rituximab therapy, IL18 rs243908, and the IL4 haplotype rs2243248∼rs2243263 were independently associated with HBV-RS. The IL4 haplotype rs2243248∼rs2243263 was significantly associated with HBV-RS regardless of anti-HBs status. Polymorphisms in human cytokine genes impact the risk of rituximab-associated HBV-RS.

Su T, Li J, Meng M, et al.
Bone marrow stromal cells induced activation of nuclear factor κB signaling protects non-Hodgkin's B lymphoma cells from apoptosis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10745-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
The microenvironment encompassing a variety of non-malignant cells in close proximity with malignant tumor cells has been well known to significantly affect the behavior of tumor cells. In this study, we therefore studied the mechanism of bone marrow stromal cells in protection of lymphoma cells from spontaneous apoptosis. We demonstrated that adhesion of the freshly isolated lymphoma B cells to bone marrow stromal cells or freshly isolated lymphoma stromal cells inhibited B cell spontaneous apoptosis in culture. This inhibition of apoptosis correlated with decreased cleavage of caspase-3/8 and increased activation of canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathway. In addition to BAFF signaling which has been reported as a functional determinant for B lymphoma cell survival in the bone marrow environment, we demonstrated RANKL from BMSCs works synergistically with BAFF to activate NF-κB signaling pathway and thus protects lymphoma B cells from spontaneous apoptosis.

Singh V, Singh LC, Vasudevan M, et al.
Esophageal Cancer Epigenomics and Integrome Analysis of Genome-Wide Methylation and Expression in High Risk Northeast Indian Population.
OMICS. 2015; 19(11):688-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is a major global health burden with a strong host-environment interaction component and epigenomics underpinnings that remain to be elucidated further. Certain populations such as the Northeast Indians suffer at a disproportionately higher rate from this devastating disease. Promoter methylation is correlated with transcriptional silencing of various genes in esophageal cancer. Very few studies on genome-wide methylation for esophageal cancer exist and yet, no one has carried out an integromics analysis of methylation and gene expression. In the present study, genome-wide methylation was measured in samples collected from the Northeast Indian population by Infinium 450k array, and integration of the methylation data was performed. To prepare a network of genes displaying enriched pathways, together with the list of genes exhibiting promoter hypermethylation or hypomethylation with inversely correlated expression, we performed an integrome analysis. We identified 23 Integrome network enriched genes with relevance to tumor progression and associated with the processes involved in metastasis such as cell adhesion, integrin signaling, cytoskeleton, and extracellular matrix organizations. These included four genes (PTK2, RND1, RND3, and UBL3) with promoter hypermethylation and downregulation, and 19 genes (SEMG2, CD97, CTNND2, CADM3, OMD, NEFM, FBN2, CTNNB1, DLX6, UGT2B4, CCDC80, PZP, SERPINA4, TNFSF13B, NPC1, COL1A1, TAC3, BMP8A, and IL22RA2) with promoter hypomethylation and upregulation. A Methylation Efficiency Index was further calculated for these genes; the top five gene with the highest index were COL1A1, TAC3, SERPINA4, TNFSF13B, and IL22RA2. In conclusion, we recommend that the circulatory proteins IL22RA2, TNFSF13B, SERPINA4, and TAC3 in serum of patients and disease-free healthy controls can be examined in the future as putative noninvasive biomarkers.

Kobayashi H, Komatsu S, Ichikawa D, et al.
Overexpression of denticleless E3 ubiquitin protein ligase homolog (DTL) is related to poor outcome in gastric carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):36615-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Denticleless E3 ubiquitin protein ligase homolog (DTL) has been identified in amplified region (1q32) of several cancers and has an oncogenic function. In this study, we tested whether DTL acts as a cancer-promoting gene through its activation/overexpression in gastric cancer (GC).
METHODS: We analyzed 7 GC cell lines and 100 primary tumors that were curatively resected in our hospital between 2001 and 2003.
RESULTS: Overexpression of the DTL protein was detected in GC cell lines (4/7 cell lines; 57%) and primary GC tumor samples (42/100 cases; 42%). Knockdown of DTL using several specific siRNAs inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion in a TP53 mutation-independent manner. Overexpression of the DTL was significantly correlated with lymphatic invasion, deeper tumor depth and higher recurrence rate. Patients with DTL-overexpressing tumors had a worse survival rate than those with non-expressing tumors in overall survival (P = 0.0498, log-rank test) and disease-free survival (P = 0.0324, log-rank test). In a multivariate analysis, DTL positivity was independently associated with a worse overall survival (P = 0.0104, hazard ratio 3.7 [1.36-10.1]) and disease-free survival (P = 0.0070 (hazard ratio, 3.9 (1.45-10.46)) following radical gastrectomy.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that DTL overexpression plays a crucial role in tumor cell proliferation and highlights its usefulness as a prognosticator and potential therapeutic target in gastric cancer.

Uy GL, Hsu YM, Schmidt AP, et al.
Targeting bone marrow lymphoid niches in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(12):1437-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) the bone marrow microenvironment provides growth and survival signals that may confer resistance to chemotherapy. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) potently inhibits lymphopoiesis by targeting stromal cells that comprise the lymphoid niche in the bone marrow. To determine whether lymphoid niche disruption by G-CSF sensitizes ALL cells to chemotherapy, we conducted a pilot study of G-CSF in combination with chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory ALL. Thirteen patients were treated on study; three patients achieved a complete remission (CR/CRi) for an overall response rate of 23%. In the healthy volunteers, G-CSF treatment disrupted the lymphoid niche, as evidenced by reduced expression of CXCL12, interleukin-7, and osteocalcin. However, in most patients with relapsed/refractory ALL expression of these genes was markedly suppressed at baseline. Thus, although G-CSF treatment was associated with ALL cell mobilization into the blood, and increased apoptosis of bone marrow resident ALL cells, alterations in the bone marrow microenvironment were modest and highly variable. These data suggest that disruption of lymphoid niches by G-CSF to sensitize ALL cells to chemotherapy may be best accomplished in the consolidation where the bone marrow microenvironment is more likely to be normal.

Asaba J, Bandyopadhyay M, Kindy M, Dasgupta S
Estrogen receptor signal in regulation of B cell activation during diverse immune responses.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015; 68:42-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of signalling through oestrogen receptors (ERs) in the regulation of B cell activation is an area of growing importance not only in terms protective immunity but also in the determination of the mechanisms of the onset of autoimmune disorders and cancers. The mode of signalling action of this single chain nuclear receptor protein molecule depends on its ability to bind to the promoters of Pax5, HOXC4 and apolipoprotein B RNA-editing enzyme activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) genes. ER-mediated transcriptional regulation induces class switch recombination of the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (VH) to DH-JH genes and somatic hypermutation in developing B cells. The mode of action of ER is associated with BCR-signal pathways that involve the regulator proteins BAFF and APRIL. Additionally, the plasma membrane-bound G protein-coupled oestrogen receptor-1 (GEPR1) directs diverse cell signalling events in B cells that involve the MAPK pathways. These signals are immensely important during progenitor and precursor B cell activation. We have focused our goals on the medicinal aspects of ER-signalling mechanisms and their effects on polyclonal B cell activation.

Jasek M, Wagner M, Sobczynski M, et al.
Polymorphisms in genes of the BAFF/APRIL system may constitute risk factors of B-CLL--a preliminary study on a Polish population.
Tissue Antigens. 2015; 86(4):279-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
The association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of B-cell activating factor (BAFF)/a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) system with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) have been suggested, therefore, we investigated 20 SNPs of BAFF, APRIL, BAFF-R, transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin-ligand interactor (TACI), B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) genes and the risk and outcome of B-CLL in 187 patients and 296 healthy subjects as well as ligand-receptor gene × gene interactions. Although the obtained P-values for all 20 SNPs did not reach statistical significance for this study (α = 0.003), the high value of the global chi-squared statistic (χ(2) df = 38  = 52.65; P = 0.0586), and obtained values of odds ratio indicate that rs9514828 (BAFF), rs3803800 (APRIL) and rs4985726 (TACI) may be associated with the risk of B-CLL. We observed that the B-CLL patients with the genotype rs9514828CT/rs11570136AA were diagnosed with the disease 12 years later than the whole group of patients in this study.

Lonial S, Durie B, Palumbo A, San-Miguel J
Monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of multiple myeloma: current status and future perspectives.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(3):526-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The treatment landscape for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) is constantly evolving. Over the past decade, the introduction of novel agents such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs has led to notable changes in therapeutic strategy, and improvements in survival, yet MM remains incurable in the vast majority of cases. More recently, a targeted approach to MM treatment has emerged, using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to target antigens expressed on the surface of MM cells. MAbs tested to date kill MM cells via the host's immune system and/or by promoting apoptosis, and appear to have generally improved tolerability compared with currently available treatments. Due to their distinct mode of action, mAbs are promising both for patients who have exhausted current regimens, and as part of first-line treatments in newly diagnosed patients. This review examines the recent developments in mAb-based therapy for MM, primarily focused on those agents in ongoing clinical testing.

Shen X, Guo Y, Yu J, et al.
miRNA-202 in bone marrow stromal cells affects the growth and adhesion of multiple myeloma cells by regulating B cell-activating factor.
Clin Exp Med. 2016; 16(3):307-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) up-regulate B cell-activating factor (BAFF) in multiple myeloma. Increasing experimental evidence has shown that microRNAs play a causal role in hematology tumorigenesis. In this study, we characterized the role of miR-202 in regulating the expression of BAFF in BMSCs. It was found that expressions of BAFF mRNA and protein were increased in BMSCs treated with miR-202 inhibitor. The growth rate of miR-202 mimics transfection cells was significantly lower than that of non-transfected cells. The expression of Bcl-2 protein was down-regulated, and Bax protein was up-regulated after miR-202 mimics transfection. Over-expression of miR-202 in BMSCs rendered MM cells more sensitive to bortezomib. More significantly, the regulatory effect of miR-202 could inhibit the activation of NF-κB pathway in BMSCs. These results suggest that miR-202 functions as a modulator that can negatively regulate BAFF by inhibiting MM cell survival, growth, and adhesion in the bone marrow microenvironment.

Zhou J, Rossi JJ, Shum KT
Methods for assembling B-cell lymphoma specific and internalizing aptamer-siRNA nanoparticles via the sticky bridge.
Methods Mol Biol. 2015; 1297:169-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Structured functional RNA entities, including aptamers and siRNAs, have amazing versatility in structure and function. These molecules can serve as powerful, attractive building blocks for the bottom-up assembly of complex nanostructures. Here, we describe novel cell-type specific and internalizing B-cell activating factor receptor (BAFF-R) aptamer-siRNA delivery systems for B-cell lymphoma therapy, in which both the aptamer and the Dicer substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) portions are conjugated through a "sticky bridge." The BAFF-R is overexpressed on the surface of B-cell malignancies, allowing binding and internalization of the aptamer-stick-siRNA nanoparticles. STAT3 siRNAs are encapsulated within the nanoparticles delivered by the BAFF-R aptamers and are localized to the cytoplasm, resulting in robust gene silencing of STAT3 mRNAs in a variety of B-cell lines. Moreover, these nanoparticles do not induce cell proliferation and apoptosis. Collectively, aptamer-mediated delivery strategies provide a toolset to become a more widely used therapeutic modality for the treatment of diseases.

Ahmed-Seghir S, Pouvelle C, Despras E, et al.
Aberrant C-terminal domain of polymerase η targets the functional enzyme to the proteosomal degradation pathway.
DNA Repair (Amst). 2015; 29:154-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XP-V) is a rare genetic disease, characterized by sunlight sensitivity and predisposition to cutaneous malignancies. XP-V is caused by a deficiency in DNA polymerase eta (Polη) that plays a pivotal role in translesion synthesis by bypassing UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. Previously we identified a new Polη variant containing two missense mutations, one mutation within the bipartite NLS (T692A) and a second mutation on the stop codon (X714W) leading to a longer protein with an extra 8 amino acids (721 instead of 713 AA). First biochemical analysis revealed that this Polη missense variant was barely detectable by western blot. As this mutant is extremely unstable and is nearly undetectable, a definitive measure of its functional deficit in cells has not been explored. Here we report the molecular and cellular characterization of this missense variant. In cell free extracts, the extra 8 amino acids in the C-terminal of Polη(721) only slightly reduce the bypass efficiency through CPD lesions. In vivo, Polη(721) accumulates in replication factories and interacts with mUb-PCNA albeit at lower level than Polη(wt). XP-V cells overexpressing Polη(721) were only slightly UV-sensitive. Altogether, our data strongly suggest that Polη(721) is functional and that the patient displays a XP-V phenotype because the mutant protein is excessively unstable. We then investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in this excessive proteolysis. We showed that Polη(721) is degraded by the proteasome in an ubiquitin-dependent manner and that this proteolysis is independent of the E3 ligases, CRL4(cdt2) and Pirh2, reported to promote Polη degradation. We then demonstrated that the extra 8 amino acids of Polη(721) do not act as a degron but rather induce a conformational change of the Polη C-terminus exposing its bipartite NLS as well as a sequence close to its UBZ to the ubiquitin/proteasome system. Interestingly we showed that the clinically approved proteasome inhibitor, Bortezomib restores the levels of Polη(721) suggesting that this might be a therapeutic approach to preventing tumor development in certain XP-V patients harboring missense mutations.

Hengeveld PJ, Kersten MJ
B-cell activating factor in the pathophysiology of multiple myeloma: a target for therapy?
Blood Cancer J. 2015; 5:e282 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a currently incurable malignancy of plasma cells. Malignant myeloma cells (MMCs) are heavily dependent upon the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment for their survival. One component of this tumor microenvironment, B-Cell Activating Factor (BAFF), has been implicated as a key player in this interaction. This review discusses the role of BAFF in the pathophysiology of MM, and the potential of BAFF-inhibitory therapy for the treatment of MM. Multiple studies have shown that BAFF functions as a survival factor for MMCs. Furthermore, MMCs express several BAFF-binding receptors. Of these, only Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor (TACI) correlates with the MMC's capability to ligate BAFF. Additionally, the level of expression of TACI correlates with the level of the MMC's BM dependency. Ligation of BAFF receptors on MMCs causes activation of the Nuclear Factor of κ-B (NF-κB) pathway, a crucial pathway for the pathogenesis of many B-cell malignancies. Serum BAFF levels are significantly elevated in MM patients when compared to healthy controls, and correlate inversely with overall survival. BAFF signaling is thus an interesting target for the treatment of MM. Several BAFF-inhibitory drugs are currently under evaluation for the treatment of MM. These include BAFF-monoclonal antibodies (tabalumab) and antibody-drug conjugates (GSK2857916).

Chakrabarti S, Multani S, Dabholkar J, Saranath D
Whole genome expression profiling in chewing-tobacco-associated oral cancers: a pilot study.
Med Oncol. 2015; 32(3):60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The current study was undertaken with a view to identify differential biomarkers in chewing-tobacco-associated oral cancer tissues in patients of Indian ethnicity. The gene expression profile was analyzed in oral cancer tissues as compared to clinically normal oral buccal mucosa. We examined 30 oral cancer tissues and 27 normal oral tissues with 16 paired samples from contralateral site of the patient and 14 unpaired samples from different oral cancer patients, for whole genome expression using high-throughput IlluminaSentrix Human Ref-8 v2 Expression BeadChip array. The cDNA microarray analysis identified 425 differentially expressed genes with >1.5-fold expression in the oral cancer tissues as compared to normal tissues in the oral cancer patients. Overexpression of 255 genes and downregulation of 170 genes (p < 0.01) were observed. Further, a minimum twofold overexpression was observed in 32 genes and downregulation in 12 genes, in 30-83% of oral cancer patients. Biological pathway analysis using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome Pathway database revealed that the differentially regulated genes were associated with critical biological functions. The biological functions and representative deregulated genes include cell proliferation (AIM2, FAP, TNFSF13B, TMPRSS11A); signal transduction (FOLR2, MME, HTR3B); invasion and metastasis (SPP1, TNFAIP6, EPHB6); differentiation (CLEC4A, ELF5); angiogenesis (CXCL1); apoptosis (GLIPR1, WISP1, DAPL1); and immune responses (CD300A, IFIT2, TREM2); and metabolism (NNMT; ALDH3A1). Besides, several of the genes have been differentially expressed in human cancers including oral cancer. Our data indicated differentially expressed genes in oral cancer tissues and may identify prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers in oral cancers, postvalidation in larger numbers and varied population samples.

Baxter PA, Lin Q, Mao H, et al.
Silencing BMI1 eliminates tumor formation of pediatric glioma CD133+ cells not by affecting known targets but by down-regulating a novel set of core genes.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014; 2:160 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clinical outcome of children with malignant glioma remains dismal. Here, we examined the role of over-expressed BMI1, a regulator of stem cell self-renewal, in sustaining tumor formation in pediatric glioma stem cells. Our investigation revealed BMI1 over-expression in 29 of 54 (53.7%) pediatric gliomas, 8 of 8 (100%) patient derived orthotopic xenograft (PDOX) mouse models, and in both CD133+ and CD133- glioma cells. We demonstrated that lentiviral-shRNA mediated silencing of suppressed cell proliferation in vitro in cells derived from 3 independent PDOX models and eliminated tumor-forming capacity of CD133+ and CD133- cells derived from 2 PDOX models in mouse brains. Gene expression profiling showed that most of the molecular targets of BMI1 ablation in CD133+ cells were different from that in CD133- cells. Importantly, we found that silencing BMI1 in CD133+ cells derived from 3 PDOX models did not affect most of the known genes previously associated with the activated BMI1, but modulated a novel set of core genes, including RPS6KA2, ALDH3A2, FMFB, DTL, API5, EIF4G2, KIF5c, LOC650152, C20ORF121, LOC203547, LOC653308, and LOC642489, to mediate the elimination of tumor formation. In summary, we identified the over-expressed BMI1 as a promising therapeutic target for glioma stem cells, and suggest that the signaling pathways associated with activated BMI1 in promoting tumor growth may be different from those induced by silencing BMI1 in blocking tumor formation. These findings highlighted the importance of careful re-analysis of the affected genes following the inhibition of abnormally activated oncogenic pathways to identify determinants that can potentially predict therapeutic efficacy.

Sarantopoulos S, Blazar BR, Cutler C, Ritz J
B cells in chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(1):16-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) continues to be a common complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Unlike acute graft-versus-host disease, which is mediated almost entirely by donor T cells, the immune pathology of cGVHD is more complex and donor B cells have also been found to play an important role. Recent studies from several laboratories have enhanced our understanding of how donor B cells contribute to this clinical syndrome and this has led to new therapeutic opportunities. Here, Dr Sarantopoulos reviews some of the important mechanisms responsible for persistent B cell activation and loss of B cell tolerance in patients with cGVHD. Dr Blazar describes recent studies in preclinical models that have identified novel B cell-directed agents that may be effective for prevention or treatment of cGVHD. Some B cell-directed therapies have already been tested in patients with cGVHD and Dr Cutler reviews the results of these studies documenting the potential efficacy of this approach. Supported by mechanistic studies in patients and preclinical models, new B cell-directed therapies for cGVHD will now be evaluated in clinical trials.

Mitra S, Mukherjee N, Das S, et al.
Anomalous altered expressions of downstream gene-targets in TP53-miRNA pathways in head and neck cancer.
Sci Rep. 2014; 4:6280 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prevalence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, HNSCC, continues to grow. Change in the expression of TP53 in HNSCC affects its downstream miRNAs and their gene targets, anomalously altering the expressions of the five genes, MEIS1, AGTR1, DTL, TYMS and BAK1. These expression alterations follow the repression of TP53 that upregulates miRNA-107, miRNA- 215, miRNA-34 b/c and miRNA-125b, but downregulates miRNA-155. The above five so far unreported genes are the targets of these miRNAs. Meta-analyses of microarray and RNA-Seq data followed by qRT-PCR validation unravel these new ones in HNSCC. The regulatory roles of TP53 on miRNA-155 and miRNA-125b differentiate the expressions of AGTR1 and BAK1in HNSCC vis-à-vis other carcinogenesis. Expression changes alter cell cycle regulation, angiogenic and blood cell formation, and apoptotic modes in affliction. Pathway analyses establish the resulting systems-level functional and mechanistic insights into the etiology of HNSCC.

Przybyl J, Kozak K, Kosela H, et al.
Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood cells: new insights into Ewing sarcoma biology and clinical applications.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(8):109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a group of highly aggressive small round cell tumors of bone or soft tissue with high metastatic potential and low cure rate. ES tumors are associated with a rapid osteolysis and necrosis. The currently accepted clinical prognostic parameters do not accurately predict survival of high-risk patients. Moreover, neither the subtype of EWS-FLI1/ERG in the tumor, nor the detection of fusion transcripts in the peripheral blood (PB) samples, has prognostic value in ES patients. We evaluated the prevalence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 34 adult ES patients. Since CTCs were confirmed in only small subset of patients, we further explored the expression profiles of PB leukocytes using a panel of genes associated with immune system status and increased tumor invasiveness. Moreover, we analyzed the alterations of the routine blood tests in the examined cohort of patients and correlated our findings with the clinical outcome. A uniform decrease in ZAP70 expression in PB cells among all ES patients, as compared to healthy individuals, was observed. Monocytosis and the abnormal expression of CDH2 and CDT2 genes in the PB cells significantly correlated with poor prognosis in ES patients. Our study supports the previously proposed hypothesis of systemic nature of ES. Based on the PB cell expression profiles, we propose a mechanism by which immune system may be involved in intensification of osteoclastogenesis and disease progression in ES patients. Moreover, we demonstrate the prognostic value of molecular PB testing at the time of routine histopathological diagnosis.

Shiozaki A, Nako Y, Ichikawa D, et al.
Role of the Na ⁺/K ⁺/2Cl⁻ cotransporter NKCC1 in cell cycle progression in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(22):6844-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the role of Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) in the regulation of genes involved in cell cycle progression and the clinicopathological significance of its expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: An immunohistochemical analysis was performed on 68 primary tumor samples obtained from ESCC patients that underwent esophagectomy. NKCC1 expression in human ESCC cell lines was analyzed by Western blotting. Knockdown experiments were conducted using NKCC1 small interfering RNA, and the effects on cell cycle progression were analyzed. The gene expression profiles of cells were analyzed by microarray analysis.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining showed that NKCC1 was primarily found in the cytoplasm of carcinoma cells and that its expression was related to the histological degree of differentiation of SCC. NKCC1 was highly expressed in KYSE170 cells. Depletion of NKCC1 in these cells inhibited cell proliferation via G2/M phase arrest. Microarray analysis identified 2527 genes with altered expression levels in NKCC1depleted KYSE170. Pathway analysis showed that the top-ranked canonical pathway was the G2/M DNA damage checkpoint regulation pathway, which involves MAD2L1, DTL, BLM, CDC20, BRCA1, and E2F5.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the expression of NKCC1 in ESCC may affect the G2/M checkpoint and may be related to the degree of histological differentiation of SCCs. We have provided a deeper understanding of the role of NKCC1 as a mediator and/or a biomarker in ESCC.

Wu W, Li S, Zhang W, et al.
A novel VHH antibody targeting the B cell-activating factor for B-cell lymphoma.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(6):9481-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To construct an immune alpaca phage display library, in order to obtain a single domain anti-BAFF (B cell-activating factor) antibody.
METHODS: Using phage display technology, we constructed an immune alpaca phage display library, selected anti-BAFF single domain antibodies (sdAbs), cloned three anti-BAFF single-domain antibody genes into expression vector pSJF2, and expressed them efficiently in Escherichia coli. The affinity of different anti-BAFF sdAbs were measured by Bio layer interferometry. The in vitro biological function of three sdAbs was investigated by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
RESULTS: We obtained three anti-BAFF single domain antibodies (anti-BAFF64, anti-BAFF52 and anti-BAFFG3), which were produced in high yield in Escherichia coli and inhibited tumor cell proliferation in vitro.
CONCLUSION: The selected anti-BAFF antibodies could be candidates for B-cell lymphoma therapies.

Mittal AK, Chaturvedi NK, Rai KJ, et al.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells in a lymph node microenvironment depict molecular signature associated with an aggressive disease.
Mol Med. 2014; 20:290-301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells survive longer in vivo than in vitro, suggesting that the tissue microenvironment provides prosurvival signals to tumor cells. Primary and secondary lymphoid tissues are involved in the pathogenesis of CLL, and the role of these tissue microenvironments has not been explored completely. To elucidate host-tumor interactions, we performed gene expression profiling (GEP) of purified CLL cells from peripheral blood (PB; n = 20), bone marrow (BM; n = 18), and lymph node (LN; n = 15) and validated key pathway genes by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry and/or TCL1 trans-genic mice. Gene signatures representing several pathways critical for survival and activation of B cells were altered in CLL cells from different tissue compartments. Molecules associated with the B-cell receptor (BCR), B cell-activating factor/a proliferation-inducing ligand (BAFF/APRIL), nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway and immune suppression signature were enriched in LN-CLL, suggesting LNs as the primary site for tumor growth. Immune suppression genes may help LN-CLL cells to modulate antigen-presenting and T-cell behavior to suppress antitumor activity. PB CLL cells overexpressed chemokine receptors, and their cognate ligands were enriched in LN and BM, suggesting that a chemokine gradient instructs B cells to migrate toward LN or BM. Of several chemokine ligands, the expression of CCL3 was associated with poor prognostic factors. The BM gene signature was enriched with antiapoptotic, cytoskeleton and adhesion molecules. Interestingly, PB cells from lymphadenopathy patients shared GEP with LN cells. In Eμ-TCL1 transgenic mice (the mouse model of the disease), a high percentage of leukemic cells from the lymphoid compartment express key BCR and NF-κB molecules. Together, our findings demonstrate that the lymphoid microenvironment promotes survival, proliferation and progression of CLL cells via chronic activation of BCR, BAFF/APRIL and NF-κB activation while suppressing the immune response.

Yang S, Li JY, Xu W
Role of BAFF/BAFF-R axis in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014; 91(2):113-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell activating factor (BAFF), as a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family, plays important roles in B-cell homeostasis, tolerance, and malignancy. BAFF binds to three receptors of TNF, TACI, BCMA and BAFF-receptor (BAFF-R). In particular, the BAFF/BAFF-R pathway is crucial to the survival and growth of mature normal and malignant B-cells. BAFF is displayed on the cell surface or is released in a soluble form after cleavage from the plasma membrane. BAFF-R as the main BAFF receptor is expressed mainly on B-cells. Aberrant BAFF expression was found in malignant B-cells from B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) patients, which protects these cells from spontaneous or drug-induced apoptosis and stimulated NF-κB activation via autocrine and/or paracrine pathways. However, the mechanisms involved in the gene expression and regulation of BAFF or BAFF-R has not been elucidated. More importantly, the design of reagents able to counteract BAFF/BAFF-R pathways may be of therapeutic value for B-NHL. Results of ongoing clinical trials with BAFF or BAFF-R antagonists are eagerly awaited.

Jacobson CA, Sun L, Kim HT, et al.
Post-transplantation B cell activating factor and B cell recovery before onset of chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014; 20(5):668-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Excessive levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF) are found in patients with active chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). In mice, BAFF has been shown to be essential for B cell recovery after myeloablation. To assess how BAFF levels relate to transplantation factors and subsequent development of cGVHD, we prospectively monitored 412 patients in the first year after allogeneic peripheral blood or bone marrow hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and censored data at time of cGVHD onset. In patients who did not develop cGVHD, we affirmed a temporal pattern of gradually decreasing BAFF levels as B cell numbers increase after myeloablative conditioning. In contrast, after reduced-intensity conditioning, BAFF levels remained high throughout the first post-HSCT year, suggesting that the degree of myeloablation resulted in delayed B cell recovery associated with persistence of higher BAFF levels. Given that high BAFF/B cell ratios have been associated with active cGVHD, we examined differences in early BAFF/B cell ratios and found significantly different BAFF/B cell ratios at 3 months post-HSCT only after myeloablative conditioning in patients who subsequently developed cGVHD. In addition to HSCT conditioning type, the use of sirolimus was significantly associated with higher BAFF levels after HSCT, and this also was potentially related to lower B cell numbers. Taken together, our results are important for interpreting BAFF measurements in cGVHD biomarker studies.

Pelekanou V, Notas G, Kampa M, et al.
BAFF, APRIL, TWEAK, BCMA, TACI and Fn14 proteins are related to human glioma tumor grade: immunohistochemistry and public microarray data meta-analysis.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gliomas are common and lethal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). Genetic alterations, inflammatory and angiogenic processes have been identified throughout tumor progression; however, treatment still remains palliative for most cases. Biological research on parameters influencing cell survival, invasion and tumor heterogeneity identified several cytokines interfering in CNS inflammation, oxidative stress and malignant transformation, including TNF-superfamily (TNFSF) members. In this report we performed a meta-analysis of public gene-array data on the expression of a group of TNFSF ligands (BAFF, APRIL, TWEAK) and their receptors (BAFF-R, TACI, BCMA, Fn14) in gliomas. In addition, we investigated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) the tumor cells' expression of these ligands and receptors in a series of 56 gliomas of different grade. We show that in IHC, BAFF and APRIL as well as their cognate receptors (BCMA, TACI) and Fn14 expression correlate with tumor grade. This result was not evidenced in micro-arrays meta-analysis. Finally, we detected for the first time Fn14, BAFF, BCMA and TACI in glioma-related vascular endothelium. Our data, combined with our previous report in glioma cell lines, suggest a role for these receptors and ligands in glioma biology and advance these molecules as potential markers for the classification of these tumors to the proliferative, angiogenic or stem-like molecular subtype.

Ferrer G, Bosch R, Hodgson K, et al.
B cell activation through CD40 and IL4R ligation modulates the response of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells to BAFF and APRIL.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 164(4):570-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The two tumour necrosis factor family proteins BAFF (TNFSF13B) and APRIL (TNFSF13) and their receptors [BAFF-R (TNFRSF13C), TACI (TNFRSF13B), BCMA (TNFRSF17)] play a critical role in the survival of normal B cells. The sensitivity of normal B cells to BAFF and APRIL can be modulated by signals regulated by their receptors. This modulation, however, has not been extensively investigated in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells. We evaluated the expression, regulation and signalling of BAFF and APRIL receptors in normal and in CLL cells upon stimulation through CD40+IL4R and BCR. We further analysed the prognostic value of BAFF and APRIL receptors expression in patients with CLL. BCMA expression was significantly higher on CLL cells than on normal B cells. BCR and CD40+IL4R stimulation promoted an increase in TACI and BCMA expression, cell viability and activation in normal B cells. A similar effect was observed in CLL cells after CD40+IL4R but not BCR stimulation. BCMA expression correlated with unmutated IGHV genes, poor-risk cytogenetics, and short progression-free survival. These findings further characterize the link between CD40+IL4R regulatory signals, BAFF, APRIL and their receptors and the survival of leukaemic cells and clinical features of CLL.

Secreto F, Manske M, Price-Troska T, et al.
B-cell activating factor-receptor specific activation of tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 and the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase pathway in lymphoma B cells.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(8):1884-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-cell activating factor-receptor (BAFF-R) is the primary BAFF receptor that is responsible for promoting B-cell development and survival. Malignant B-cells exploit the BAFF/BAFF-R system, and high serum BAFF levels or genetic alterations in BAFF receptors have been found in B-cell cancers. BAFF signaling impacts pro-survival pathways. However, other than nuclear factor-κB2 (NF-κB2), little is known about the specific pathways activated by individual BAFF receptors. Using a novel BAFF-R expression model we have demonstrated that activation of BAFF-R, independent of transmembrane activator and cytophilin ligand interactor (TACI) and B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), can induce phosphorylation of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Expression of an activated form of BAFF-R also enhanced a pro-survival gene expression pattern, including the novel BAFF-regulated gene Pin1, whose expression was phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent. Additionally, we showed that TRAF6 is essential for mediating BAFF-R dependent activation of Akt. Together these data describe a novel role for TRAF6 in BAFF-R-specific activation of the PI3K pathway and provide evidence suggesting a new role for Pin1 in BAFF-R signaling.

Pan WW, Zhou JJ, Yu C, et al.
Ubiquitin E3 ligase CRL4(CDT2/DCAF2) as a potential chemotherapeutic target for ovarian surface epithelial cancer.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(41):29680-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cullin-RING ubiquitin ligases (CRLs) are the largest family of E3 ligases and require cullin neddylation for their activation. The NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor MLN4924 reportedly blocked cullin neddylation and inactivated CRLs, which resulted in apoptosis induction and tumor suppression. However, CRL roles in ovarian cancer cell survival and the ovarian tumor repressing effects of MLN4924 are unknown. We show here that CRL4 components are highly expressed in human epithelial ovarian cancer tissues. MLN4924-induced DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In addition, MLN4924 sensitized ovarian cancer cells to other chemotherapeutic drug treatments. Depletion of CRL4 components Roc1/2, Cul4a, and DDB1 had inhibitory effects on ovarian cancer cells similar to MLN4924 treatment, which suggested that CRL4 inhibition contributed to the chemotherapeutic effect of MLN4924 in ovarian cancers. We also investigated for key CRL4 substrate adaptors required for ovarian cancer cells. Depleting Vprbp/Dcaf1 did not significantly affect ovarian cancer cell growth, even though it was expressed by ovarian cancer tissues. However, depleting Cdt2/Dcaf2 mimicked the pharmacological effects of MLN4924 and caused the accumulation of its substrate, CDT1, both in vitro and in vivo. MLN4924-induced DNA damage and apoptosis were partially rescued by Cdt1 depletion, suggesting that CRL4(CDT2) repression and CDT1 accumulation were key biochemical events contributing to the genotoxic effects of MLN4924 in ovarian cancer cells. Taken together, these results indicate that CRL4(CDT2) is a potential drug target in ovarian cancers and that MLN4924 may be an effective anticancer agent for targeted ovarian cancer therapy.

Koizumi M, Hiasa Y, Kumagi T, et al.
Increased B cell-activating factor promotes tumor invasion and metastasis in human pancreatic cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e71367 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B cell-activating factor (BAFF) is a cytokine belonging to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily. It has been reported that BAFF is elevated in patients with autoimmune pancreatitis and contributes to the malignant potential of blood cancers and solid tumors. In this study, clinical evidence of increased BAFF levels in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) was obtained, and the roles and mechanisms of BAFF in PDAC were clarified in human tissues of PDAC and from in vitro data of PDAC cell lines. Serum levels of BAFF in patients with PDAC were significantly higher than in healthy subjects (p = 0.0121). Patients with UICC stage IV PDAC (T1-4, N0-1, M1) had significantly higher levels of serum BAFF compared to patients with PDAC (p = 0.0182). BAFF was remarkably expressed in infiltrating B lymphocytes surrounding pancreatic cancer in human pancreatic tissues, suggesting that BAFF may play a role in progression of pancreatic cancer. PDAC cell lines were cultured with human recombinant BAFF, and morphology and gene expression were analyzed; pancreatic cancer cells changed to a fibroblast-like morphology, and showed altered gene expression of E-cadherin, vimentin and Snail. These BAFF-induced changes reflect enhanced cell motility and invasion. BAFF-R-overexpressing cell clones confirmed the association between these BAFF-induced changes and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes. BAFF was elevated in patients with metastatic advanced PDAC and induced alterations in PDAC cells via regulation of EMT-related genes. Elucidation of the precise role and mechanism of control of BAFF may lead to new therapeutic approaches with the aim of improving pancreatic cancer survival.

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