NF-κB p50 activation associated with immune dysregulation confers poorer survival for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with wild-type p53.
Dysregulated NF-κB signaling is critical for lymphomagenesis, however, the expression and clinical relevance of NF-κB subunit p50 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma have not been evaluated. In this study, we analyzed the prognostic significance and gene expression signatures of p50 nuclear expression as a surrogate for p50 activation in 465 patients with de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. We found that p50+ nuclear expression, observed in 34.6% of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, predominantly composed of activated B-cell-like subtype, was an independent adverse prognostic factor in patients with activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. It was also an adverse prognostic factor in patients with wild-type TP53 independent of the activated B-cell-like and germinal center B-cell-like subtypes, even though p50 activation correlated with significantly lower levels of Myc, PI3K, phospho-AKT, and CXCR4 expression and less frequent BCL2 translocations. In contrast, in germinal center B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with TP53 mutations, p50+ nuclear expression correlated with significantly better clinical outcomes, and decreased p53, Bcl-2, and Myc expression. Gene expression profiling revealed multiple signaling pathways potentially upstream the p50 activation through either canonical or noncanonical NF-κB pathways, and suggested that immune suppression, including that by the immune checkpoint TIM-3 and that through leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptors, but not antiapoptosis and proliferation, may underlie the observed poorer survival rates associated with p50+ nuclear expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In conclusion, these data show that p50 is important as a unique mechanism of R-CHOP-resistance in activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and in patients without TP53 mutations. The results also provide insights into the regulation and function of p50 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and its cross talk with the p53 pathway with important therapeutic implications.
Cai, Q; Tu, M; Xu-Monette, ZY; Sun, R; Manyam, GC; Xu, X; Tzankov, A; Hsi, ED; Møller, MB; Medeiros, LJ; Ok, CY; Young, KH
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