The D cyclins are important cell cycle regulatory proteins involved in the pathogenesis of some lymphomas. Cyclin D1 overexpression is a hallmark of mantle cell lymphoma, whereas cyclins D2 and D3 have not been shown to be closely associated with any particular subtype of lymphoma. In the present study, we found that cyclin D2 was specifically overexpressed in the proliferation centers (PC) of all cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) examined (19/19). To examine the molecular mechanisms underlying this overexpression, we immunohistochemically examined the expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, p15, p16, p18, and p27 in the PC of six patients. Five cases showed upregulation of NF-κB expression, which is known to directly induce cyclin D2 by binding to the promoter region of CCND2. All six PC examined demonstrated downregulation of p27 expression. In contrast, upregulation of p15 expression was detected in five of six PC examined. This discrepancy suggests that unknown cell cycle regulatory mechanisms involving NF-κB-related pathways are also involved, because NF-κB upregulates cyclin D2 not only directly, but also indirectly through c-Myc, which is believed to downregulate both p27 and p15. In conclusion, cyclin D2 is overexpressed in the PC of CLL/SLL and this overexpression is due, in part, to the upregulation of NF-κB-related pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research