The activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) relies on chronic active B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling. BCR pathway inhibitors induce remissions in a subset of ABC DLBCL patients. BCR microclusters on the surface of ABC cells resemble those generated following antigen engagement of normal B cells. We speculated that binding of lymphoma BCRs to self-antigens initiates and maintains chronic active BCR signaling in ABC DLBCL. To assess whether antigenic engagement of the BCR is required for the ongoing survival of ABC cells, we developed isogenic ABC cells that differed solely with respect to the IgH V region of their BCRs. In competitive assays with wild-type cells, substitution of a heterologous V region impaired the survival of three ABC lines. The viability of one VH4-34+ ABC line and the ability of its BCR to bind to its own cell surface depended on V region residues that mediate the intrinsic autoreactivity of VH4-34 to self-glycoproteins. The BCR of another ABC line reacted with self-antigens in apoptotic debris, and the survival of a third ABC line was sustained by reactivity of its BCR to an idiotypic epitope in its own V region. Hence, a diverse set of self-antigens is responsible for maintaining the malignant survival of ABC DLBCL cells. IgH V regions used by the BCRs of ABC DLBCL biopsy samples varied in their ability to sustain survival of these ABC lines, suggesting a screening procedure to identify patients who might benefit from BCR pathway inhibition.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 3 2015|
- B-cell receptor
- Cancer biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas