Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common B-cell lymphoma subtype, and the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive subtype of DLBCL is known to show a more aggressive clinical behavior than the EBV-negative one. BTB and CNC homology 2 (BACH2) has been highlighted as a tumor suppressor in hematopoietic malignancies; however, the role of BACH2 in EBV-positive DLBCL is unclear. In the present study, BACH2 expression and its significance were studied in 23 EBV-positive and 43 EBV-negative patient samples. Immunohistochemistry revealed BACH2 downregulation in EBV-positive cases (P < 0.0001), although biallelic deletion of BACH2 was not detected by FISH. Next, we analyzed the contribution of BACH2 negativity to aggressiveness in EBV-positive B-cell lymphomas using FL-18 (EBV-negative) and FL-18-EB cells (FL-18 sister cell line, EBV-positive). In BACH2-transfected FL-18-EB cells, downregulation of phosphorylated transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (pTAK1) and suppression in p65 nuclear fractions were observed by Western blot analysis contrary to non-transfected FL-18-EB cells. In patient samples, pTAK1 expression and significant nuclear p65, p50, and p52 localization were detected immunohistochemically in BACH2-negative DLBCL (P < 0.0001, P = 0.006, and P = 0.001, respectively), suggesting that BACH2 downregulation contributes to constitutive activation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway through TAK1 phosphorylation in BACH2-negative DLBCL (most EBV-positive cases). Although further molecular and pathological studies are warranted to clarify the detailed mechanisms, downregulation of BACH2 may contribute to constitutive activation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway through TAK1 activation.
- Epstein–Barr virus
- diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research