[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Uveal melanoma is the most common malignancy of the adult eye. The overall mortality rate is high because this aggressive cancer often metastasizes before ophthalmic diagnosis. Quantitative proteomic analysis of primary metastasizing and non-metastasizing tumors was pursued for insights into mechanisms and biomarkers of uveal melanoma metastasis.
Eight metastatic and 7 non-metastatic human primary uveal melanoma tumors were analyzed by LC MS/MS iTRAQ technology with Bruch's membrane/choroid complex from normal postmortem eyes as control tissue. Tryptic peptides from tumor and control proteins were labeled with iTRAQ tags, fractionated by cation exchange chromatography, and analyzed by LC MS/MS. Protein identification utilized the Mascot search engine and the human Uni-Prot/Swiss-Protein database with false discovery ≤ 1%; protein quantitation utilized the Mascot weighted average method. Proteins designated differentially expressed exhibited quantitative differences (p ≤ 0.05, t-test) in a training set of five metastatic and five non-metastatic tumors. Logistic regression models developed from the training set were used to classify the metastatic status of five independent tumors.
Of 1644 proteins identified and quantified in 5 metastatic and 5 non-metastatic tumors, 12 proteins were found uniquely in ≥ 3 metastatic tumors, 28 were found significantly elevated and 30 significantly decreased only in metastatic tumors, and 31 were designated differentially expressed between metastatic and non-metastatic tumors. Logistic regression modeling of differentially expressed collagen alpha-3(VI) and heat shock protein beta-1 allowed correct prediction of metastasis status for each of five independent tumor specimens.
The present data provide new clues to molecular differences in metastatic and non-metastatic uveal melanoma tumors. While sample size is limited and validation required, the results support collagen alpha-3(VI) and heat shock protein beta-1 as candidate biomarkers of uveal melanoma metastasis and establish a quantitative proteomic database for uveal melanoma primary tumors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Detection of immunoglobulin light-chain restriction is important in the diagnosis of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Flow-cytometry, commonly used to evaluate light-chain restriction, is impractical to be used in cutaneous specimens. Immunohistochemical and conventional chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) methods on formalin-fixed-paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue lack sufficient sensitivity to detect low-level light-chain expression in B-NHL without plasmacytic differentiation. Ultrasensitive bright-field mRNA-ISH (BRISH) for in situ light-chain detection in cutaneous B-NHL has been assessed.DesignKappa/lambda mRNA was detected using two-color BRISH (RNAscope 2xPlex, Advanced Cell Diagnostics) on 27 FFPE skin biopsies and excisions from patients with available B-cell PCR clonality studies: 16 clonal B-cell lesions (6 follicle center lymphoma, 5 marginal zone lymphoma, 3 large B-cell lymphoma, and 2 other) and 11 non-clonal B-cell proliferations.ResultsBRISH was successful in 15/16 clonal B-cell lesions and 11/11 non-clonal proliferations. Light-chain restriction was detected in 15/15 clonal lesions and in 1/11 non-clonal proliferations (96.1% overall concordance with clonality PCR). In 4/5 marginal zone lymphomas, light-chain restriction was detected as strong monotypic mRNA expression in a B-cell subset, consistent with plasmacytic differentiation.Conclusion
Ultrasensitive BRISH can successfully detect light-chain restriction in B-NHL from FFPE skin specimens and may be a useful adjunct ancillary tool in cases not resolved by CISH or immunohistochemical methods.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Cutaneous Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to other cancers, the presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in uveal melanoma is associated with a poor prognosis. However, how TILs may promote disease progression and what regulates their infiltration has not yet been established. To address these clinically relevant outstanding questions, T cell, immune regulatory, and chemokine gene expression profiles of 57 enucleated uveal melanoma tumors were compared, encompassing 27 with TILs and 30 without,. Tumors with infiltrating lymphocytes expressed more CD8A mRNA, as well as IFNG, TGFB1, and FOXP3 transcripts. Other T helper associated cytokines and T helper transcription factors were not differentially expressed, nor were mediators of lymphocyte cytotoxicity. The immune inhibitors INDO, PDCA1, CTLA4, and LAG3, and the non-classical MHC Class I target of CD8+ T regulatory cells, HLA‑E, were significantly higher in tumors with TILs. FAS was also significantly higher. The C-C chemokine ligands CCL4, CCL5, and CCL20 were higher in tumors with TILs. Levels of CCL5 were most strongly correlated with levels of CD8A. Chemokine receptors were not differentially expressed. Molecular profiling of uveal melanoma tumors with TILs supports the existence of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and suggests roles for CD8+ regulatory T cells, as well as specific chemokines, in fostering uveal melanoma disease progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with aggressive, BCL2 protein-positive (+) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) often experience rapid disease progression that is refractory to standard therapy. However, there is potential for false-negative staining of BCL2 using the standard monoclonal mouse 124 antibody that hinders the identification of these high-risk DLBCL patients. Herein, we compare two alternative rabbit monoclonal antibodies (E17 and SP66) to the 124 clone in staining for BCL2 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded DLBCL tissues. Overall, in two independent DLBCL cohorts E17 and SP66 detected BCL2 expression more frequently than 124. In the context of MYC expression, cases identified as BCL2 (+) with SP66 demonstrated the strongest correlation with worse OS. The 124 clone failed to detect BCL2 expression in the majority of translocation (+), amplification (+), and activated B-cell DLBCL cases in which high levels of BCL2 protein are expected. Using dual in-situ hybridization (Dual ISH) as a new tool to detect BCL2 translocation and amplification, we observed similar results as previously reported for fluorescence ISH for translocation but a higher amplification frequency, indicating that BCL2 amplification may be under-reported in DLBCL. Among the discrepant cases, phosphorylation of BCL2 at T69 and/or S70 was more common than in the concordant cases and may contribute to the 124 false-negatives, in addition to previously associated mutations within the epitope region. The accurate detection of BCL2 expression is important in the prognosis and treatment of DLBCL particularly with new anti-BCL2 therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation status should be determined in all patients with advanced, non-squamous non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) to guide targeted therapy with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. EGFR mutations are commonly tested by Sanger sequencing or allele specific polymerase chain reaction (ASPCR) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples including cell blocks (CB) that may fail due to absence of tumor cells. The cell pellet from cytology specimens obtained at the time of endobronchial guided ultrasound fine needle aspiration (EBUS FNA) (EBUS-TBNA, transbronchial needle aspiration) represents an alternative resource for additional tissue. Here we demonstrate the utility of using the FNA cell pellet versus for the detection of EGFR mutations in NSCLC.
Materials and methods:
For internal validation, 39 cytology samples from patients with NSCLC referred for EGFR testing were analyzed using the EGFR rotor-gene Q (RGQ) PCR assay (Qiagen). Thereafter, a consecutive series of 228 EBUS FNA samples were tested.
The ASPCR assay demonstrated acceptable intra-assay, inter-assay and inter-lot reproducibility, sensitivity, and specificity. For the consecutive series, only 6/228 (2.6%) failed analysis (5 due to insufficient DNA yield). Of 228 EBUS FNA cell pellets tested 32 (14.0%) demonstrated clinically relevant mutations.
Results and conclusion:
ASPCR can reliably detect EGFR gene mutations in FNA preparations from patients with NSCLC obtained at EBUS.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims PCR studies for lymphoid clonality are now widely employed, especially using Euroclonality/BIOMED-2 primers. Criteria for interpretation as a clonal result, however, have proven controversial. This study examines the frequency and clinical significance of equivocal amplification patterns and measures the interobserver reproducibility of clonality interpretations.
Methods At our institution, results of each primer set are first classified as clonal, non-clonal or abnormal (equivocal peak on polyclonal background). Final results for all primer sets are then collectively reported as positive (≥1 clonal result), negative (non-clonal results) or indeterminate (≥1 abnormal result) for a clonal population. Results of 274 consecutive clonality cases were reviewed, and the interobserver reproducibility of individual primer set reactions and final results was determined in a subset of 30 cases.
Results 44/161 (27%) B-cell and 50/163 (31%) T-cell cases contained at least one abnormal peak. Of these, 29 (64%) and 31 (62%), respectively, showed clonal results in another primer set. Interobserver reproducibility was excellent for most primer sets and for final interpretations, but only fair to good for IGK V-J and TCRB D-J1+2 primer sets. A definitive diagnosis of lymphoma was rendered in 93%, 20% and 6% of B-cell cases and 90%, 42%, and 14% of T-cell cases positive, indeterminate or negative for a clonal population, respectively.
Conclusions Using a subjective approach, abnormal (equivocal) peaks are frequently observed in routine practice. However, most cases with abnormal peaks contain clonal rearrangements in other primer sets, facilitating overall interpretation of final results with excellent interobserver reproducibility.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Clinical Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germinal center (GC) B cell-like diffuse large B cell lymphoma (GCB-DLBCL) is a common malignancy yet the signaling pathways deregulated and the factors leading to its systemic dissemination are poorly defined1,2. Work in mice showed that sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-2 (S1PR2), a Gα12 and Gα13 coupled receptor, promotes growth regulation and local confinement of GC B cells3,4. Recent GCB-DLBCL deep sequencing studies have revealed mutations in a large number of genes in this cancer, including in GNA13 (encoding Gα13) and S1PR25-7. Here we show using in vitro and in vivo assays that GCB-DLBCL associated mutations occurring in S1PR2 frequently disrupt the receptor's Akt and migration inhibitory functions. Gα13-deficient mouse GC B cells and human GCB-DLBCL cells were unable to suppress pAkt and migration in response to S1P, and Gα13-deficient mice developed GC B cell-derived lymphoma. GC B cells, unlike most lymphocytes, are tightly confined in lymphoid organs and do not recirculate. Remarkably, deficiency in Gα13, but not S1PR2, led to GC B cell dissemination into lymph and blood. GCB-DLBCL cell lines frequently carried mutations in the Gα13 effector ARHGEF1, and Arhgef1-deficiency also led to GC B cell dissemination. The incomplete phenocopy of Gα13- and S1PR2-deficiency led us to discover that P2RY8, an orphan receptor that is mutated in GCB-DLBCL and another GC B cell-derived malignancy, Burkitt lymphoma (BL), also represses GC B cell growth and promotes confinement via Gα13. These findings identify a Gα13-dependent pathway that exerts dual actions in suppressing growth and blocking dissemination of GC B cells that is frequently disrupted in GC B cell-derived lymphoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
HER2 status assessment became a mandatory test assay in breast cancer, giving prognostic and predictive information including eligibility for adjuvant anti-HER2 therapy. Precise and reliable assessment of HER2 status is therefore of utmost importance. In this study we analyzed breast cancer samples by a novel technology for concomitant detection of the HER2 protein and gene copy number.
Tissue microarrays containing 589 invasive breast cancer samples were analyzed with a double immunohistochemistry (IHC) and silver labeled in situ hybridization (SISH) assay simultaneously detecting HER2 protein and gene copy number in the same tumor cells. This bright-field assay was analyzed using scores according to the modified ASCO guidelines and the results were correlated with patient prognosis.
Overall concordance rate between protein expression and the presence of gene amplification was 98%. Fifty-seven of 60 tumors (95%) with IHC score 3+, 6 of 10 tumors with IHC score 2+ (60%) and only 3 of 519 tumors (0.6%) with IHC score 0/1+ were amplified by SISH. Patients with gene amplification despite IHC score 0/1+ had a tendency for worse overall survival (p = 0.088, reaching nearly statistical significance) compared to IHC score 0/1+ without amplification. In contrast, there was no difference in overall survival in IHC score 3+/2+ tumors with and without gene amplification.
The novel double IHC and SISH assay for HER2 is efficient in the identification of breast cancer with discordant HER2 protein and HER2 gene status, especially for the prognostically relevant groups of HER2 protein negative tumors with HER2 amplification and HER2 protein positive tumors without HER2 amplification. Breast cancer without HER2 amplification among IHC score 2+/3+ tumors (10% in our cohort) suggests that other mechanisms than gene amplification contribute to protein overexpression in these cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytogenetic alterations are strong outcome prognosticators in uveal melanoma (UVM). Monosomy 3 (-3) and MYC-amplification at 8q24 are commonly tested by fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization (FISH). Alternatively, microarray analysis provides whole-genome data, detecting partial chromosome loss, loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) or abnormalities unrepresented by FISH probes. Non-fixed frozen tissue is conventionally used for microarray analysis but may not always be available. We assessed the feasibility of genomic microarray analysis for high resolution interrogation of UVM using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET) as an alternative to frozen tissue (FZT). Enucleations from 44 patients (clinical trial NCT00952939) yielded sufficient DNA from FFPET (n=34) and/or frozen tissue (n=41) for comparative-genomic-hybridization and select single nucleotide polymorphism-analysis (CGH/SNP) on Roche®-NimbleGen® OncoChip® arrays. CEP3-FISH was performed on matched cytology ThinPrep material. CGH/SNP analysis was successful in 30/34 FFPET and 41/41 FZT samples. 26/27 (96.3%) paired FFPET/FZT samples were concordant for at least 4 of 6 major recurrent abnormalities (-3, +8q, -1p, +6p, -6q, -8p) and 25/27 (92.6%) were concordant for -3. CGH/SNP was concordant with CEP3-FISH in 27/30 (90%) FFPET and 38/41 (92.6%) FZT cases, detecting partial -3q in 2 CEP3-FISH-negative cases and whole-chromosome 3, 4 and 6 SNP-LOH in 1 case. CGH-detection of -3, +8q, -8p on FFPET and FZT showed significant correlation with the clinical outcome measures (metastasis development, time to progression, survival). UVM genotyping by CGH/SNP on FFPET is highly concordant with FZT analysis and with CEP3-FISH and is a practical method for UVM prognostication. Genome-wide coverage provides additional data with potential relevance to UVM biology, diagnosis and prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of MET receptor tyrosine kinase and its ligand hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and MET gene amplification have been well-documented in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Activated MET signaling plays an important role in human cancer tumorigenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance. However, the deregulation of MET/HGF pathway in NSCLC harboring ALK gene rearrangement (ALK[+]), which is sensitive to dual ALK and MET inhibitor Crizotinib, has not been reported.
We performed systematic analysis of MET/HGF expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and MET gene amplification by dual color, dual hapten bright field in situ hybridization in 19 ALK(+) and 73 ALK(-) NSCLC tumor tissues from those who had clinical ALK rearrangement test done at the Cleveland Clinic from August 2010 to January 2013. IHC scoring was interpreted on a standard four-tier system.
The percentage of MET IHC score 0, 1+, 2+, and 3+ were 5.5%, 27.8%, 50.0%, and 16.7% in ALK(+) group, compared with 28.8%, 33.9%, 23.7%, and 13.6% in ALK(-) group, respectively. The MET high expression (IHC score 2 or 3) was significantly higher in ALK(+) group statistically (66.7% versus 37.3%, p = 0.03). HGF-high expression (IHC score 2 or 3) was 33.3% in ALK(+) and 15.8% in ALK(-) (p = 0.17). We identified eight cases in ALK(-) and one case in ALK(+) tumor who had MET gene amplification (18.4% versus 7.1%, p = 0.43) by dual color, dual hapten bright field in situ hybridization. No significant correlation between MET protein receptor expression and gene amplification was identified.
Our study demonstrated for the first time that MET receptor expression, but not MET gene amplification, is significantly increased in ALK(+) NSCLC. MET gene amplification is a relatively rare event in this unique population compared with ALK(-) NSCLC.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of personalized medicine is to treat patients with a therapy predicted to be efficacious based on the molecular characteristics of the tumor, thereby sparing the patient futile or toxic therapy. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors are effective against ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors, but to date the only approved companion diagnostic is a break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a clinically applicable cost-effective test that is sensitive and specific for ALK protein expression. The purpose of this study was to assemble an international team of expert pathologists to evaluate a new automated standardized ALK IHC assay.
Archival NSCLC tumor specimens (n =103) previously tested for ALK rearrangement by FISH were provided by the international collaborators. These specimens were stained by IHC with the anti-ALK (D5F3) primary antibody combined with OptiView DAB IHC detection and OptiView amplification (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., Tucson, AZ). Specimens were scored binarily as positive if strong granular cytoplasmic brown staining was present in tumor cells. IHC results were compared with the FISH results and interevaluator comparisons made.
Overall for the 100 evaluable cases the ALK IHC assay was highly sensitive (90%), specific (95%), and accurate relative (93%) to the ALK FISH results. Similar results were observed using a majority score. IHC negativity was scored by seven of seven and six of seven evaluators on three and two FISH-positive cases, respectively. IHC positivity was scored on two FISH-negative cases by seven of seven readers. There was agreement among seven of seven and six of seven readers on 88% and 96% of the cases before review, respectively, and after review there was agreement among seven of seven and six of seven on 95% and 97% of the cases, respectively.
On the basis of expert evaluation the ALK IHC test is sensitive, specific, and accurate, and a majority score of multiple readers does not improve these results over an individual reader's score. Excellent inter-reader agreement was observed. These data support the algorithmic use of ALK IHC in the evaluation of NSCLC.
No preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogenic anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements in non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) provide the basis for targeted therapy with crizotinib and other specific ALK inhibitors. Treatment eligibility is conventionally determined by the Food and Drug Administration-approved companion diagnostic fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay on paraffin-embedded tissue (PET). On limited samples such as fine needle aspiration-derived cytoblocks, FISH for ALK is often uninformative. FISH performed on liquid-based ThinPrep slides (ThinPrep-FISH) may represent a robust alternative.
Two hundred thirty cytology samples from 217 patients with advanced NSCLC, including a consecutive series of 179 specimens, were used to generate matched ThinPrep slides and paraffin cytoblocks. The same ThinPrep slides used for cytologic diagnosis were assessed by standard ALK break-apart two-color probe FISH, after etching of tumor areas. Ultrasensitive ALK immunohistochemistry (IHC) on corresponding cytoblocks [D5F3 antibody, OptiView signal amplification] served as the reference data set.
ThinPrep-FISH ALK signals were robust in 228 of 230 cases and not compromised by nuclear truncation inherent in paraffin-embedded tissue-FISH; only two samples displayed no signals. Nine of 178 informative cases (5%) in the consecutive series and 18 of 228 informative cases (7.8%) overall were ALK rearranged by ThinPrep-FISH. In 154 informative matched ThinPrep-FISH and cytoblock-IHC samples, 152 were concordant (10, 6.5% ALK status positive; 142, 92.2% ALK status negative), and two (1.3%) were ThinPrep-FISH positive but IHC negative (sensitivity 100%, specificity 98.6%, overall agreement 98.7%).
Detection of ALK gene rearrangements in liquid cytology ThinPrep slides derived from patients with NSCLC can be confidently used for clinical ALK molecular testing.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinicopathologic findings in Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) may show significant overlap, and MYC abnormalities, found in all BLs, also occur in a subset of DLBCL. The 2008 World Health Organization classification introduced the category of "B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between DLBCL and BL" (BCLU) in recognition of this overlap, but the clinical significance of BCLU (ie, "high-grade") morphology and the relationship between BCLU morphology and MYC abnormalities remains unclear. In this study, we identified 260 cases of non-Burkitt, diffuse aggressive B-cell lymphomas from SWOG S9704, a phase 3 randomized study of standard immunochemotherapy versus autologous stem cell transplantation. Of these, 31 cases (12%) showed BCLU morphology, and 229 (88%) showed typical DLBCL morphology. Of 198, 27 (14%) were positive for MYC by immunohistochemistry. BCLU morphology was associated with an increased incidence of MYC expression but otherwise was not associated with distinct clinicopathologic features or significantly decreased survival. MYC-positive cases were morphologically and phenotypically heterogenous and were associated with poor progression-free and overall survival in multivariate analysis. These findings confirm that BCLU does not represent a distinct clinicopathologic entity and demonstrate that BCLU morphology alone does not significantly impact survival compared with typical DLBCL. In contrast, MYC protein expression is a poor prognostic factor that may be associated with either BCLU or DLBCL morphology, and MYC immunohistochemistry is suggested for routine prognostic evaluation (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00004031).
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · The American journal of surgical pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) encompasses a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with generally poor clinical-outcome. Currently 50% of PTCLs are not-classifiable (PTCL-NOS).Gene-expression profiles on 372 PTCLs were analyzed and findings were validated by immunohistochemistry and mutation analysis. Robust molecular classifiers and oncogenic pathways that reflect the pathobiology of tumor cells and their microenvironment were identified for major PTCL-entities, including angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL; n=114), anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive (n=31) and ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma (n=48), adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (n=14) and extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL). ENKTL were further separated into NK-cell (n=23) and γδT-cell lymphomas (n=21). We re-classified 37% of morphologically-diagnosed PTCL-NOS cases into other specific subtypes by molecular signatures. Pathologic re-examination, immunohistochemistry and IDH2 mutation analysis supported the validity of re-classification. The remaining PTCL-NOS cases (n=121) were classified into two major molecular subgroups, characterized by high expression of either GATA3 (33%;40/121) or TBX21 (49%;59/121) and corresponding target genes. GATA3-subgroup was significantly associated with poor overall-survival (p=0.01), and also revealed distinct enriched oncogenic pathways. However, high expression of cytotoxic gene-signature within TBX21-subgroup showed poor clinical-outcome (p=0.05). In AITL, high expression of pan B-cell signatures correlated with favorable-outcome (p=0.01), whereas high monocytic-signature was associated with inferior-survival (p=0.017). Combined prognostic score was predictive of AITL survival in independent cohort (p=0.004), suggesting role of tumor microenvironment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Constitutive activation of NF-κB is a hallmark of the activated B cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), owing to upstream signals from the B-cell receptor (BCR) and MYD88 pathways. The linear polyubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC) attaches linear polyubiquitin chains to IκB kinase-γ, a necessary event in some pathways that engage NF-κB. Two germline polymorphisms affecting the LUBAC subunit RNF31 are rare among healthy individuals (∼1%) but enriched in ABC DLBCL (7.8%). These polymorphisms alter RNF31 α-helices that mediate binding to the LUBAC subunit RBCK1, thereby increasing RNF31-RBCK1 association, LUBAC enzymatic activity, and NF-κB engagement. In the BCR pathway, LUBAC associates with the CARD11-MALT1-BCL10 adapter complex and is required for ABC DLBCL viability. A stapled RNF31 α-helical peptide based on the ABC DLBCL-associated Q622L polymorphism inhibited RNF31-RBCK1 binding, decreased NF-κB activation, and killed ABC DLBCL cells, credentialing this protein-protein interface as a therapeutic target.
We provide genetic, biochemical, and functional evidence that the LUBAC ubiquitin ligase is a therapeutic target in ABC DLBCL, the DLBCL subtype that is most refractory to current therapy. More generally, our findings highlight the role of rare germline-encoded protein variants in cancer pathogenesis.