Gene expression profiling has identified 2 major subclasses of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Cases resembling germinal center (GC) B cells (GCB-DLBCL) generally occur in younger patients, have a distinct molecular pathophysiology, and have improved outcomes compared with those similar to activated post-GC cells (activated B-cell DLBCL). We previously found that the ubiquitin hydrolase UCH-L1 is frequently overexpressed in mature B-cell malignancies and is a potent oncogene in mice. The cause for its overexpression in lymphoma, and whether it impacts the outcome of patients with DLBCL is unknown. Here, we show that UCH-L1 reflects GC lineage in lymphoma and is an oncogenic biomarker of aggressive GCB-DLBCL. We find that UCH-L1 is specifically induced in GC B cells in mice and humans, and that its expression correlates highly with the GCB subtype in DLBCL. We also find that UCH-L1 cooperates with BCL6 in a mouse model of GC B-cell lymphoma, but not with the development of multiplemyeloma derived from post-GC cells. Despite the typically good outcomes of GCB-DLBCL, increased UCHL1 identifies a subgroup with early relapses independent of MYC expression, suggesting biological diversity in this subset of disease. Consistent with this, forced Uchl1 overexpression had a substantial impactongene expression in GCB cells including pathways Officell cycle progression, cell death and proliferation, and DNA replication. These data demonstrate a novel role for UCH-L1 outside of the nervous system and suggest its potential use as a biomarker and therapeutic target in DLBCL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology