Inactivation of the PRDM1/BLIMP1 gene in diffuse large B cell lymphoma

Pasqualucci, Laura; Compagno, Mara; Houldsworth, Jane; Monti, Stefano; Grunn, Adina; Nandula, Subhadra; Aster, Jon C.; Vundavalli, Murty V.; Shipp, Margaret A.; Dalla-Favera, Riccardo

PR domain containing 1 with zinc finger domain (PRDM1)/B lymphocyte–induced maturation protein 1 (BLIMP1) is a transcriptional repressor expressed in a subset of germinal center (GC) B cells and in all plasma cells, and required for terminal B cell differentiation. The BLIMP1 locus lies on chromosome 6q21-q22.1, a region frequently deleted in B cell lymphomas, suggesting that it may harbor a tumor suppressor gene. We report here that the BLIMP1 gene is inactivated by structural alterations in 24% (8 out of 34) activated B cell–like diffuse large cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL), but not in GC B cell–like (n = 0/37) or unclassified (n = 0/21) DLBCL. BLIMP1 alterations included gene truncations, nonsense mutations, frameshift deletions, and splice site mutations that generate aberrant tran- scripts encoding truncated BLIMP1 proteins. In all cases studied, both BLIMP1 alleles were inactivated by deletions or mutations. Furthermore, most non–GC type DLBCL cases (n = 20/26, 77%) lack BLIMP1 protein expression, despite the presence of BLIMP1 mRNA. These results indicate that a sizable fraction of ABC-DLBCL carry an inactive BLIMP1 gene, and suggest that the same gene is inactivated by epigenetic mechanisms in an additional large number of cases. These findings point to a role for BLIMP1 as a tumor suppressor gene, whose inactivation may contribute to lymphomagenesis by blocking post–GC differ- entiation of B cells toward plasma cells.


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Journal of Experimental Medicine

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Academic Units
Pathology and Cell Biology
Systems Biology
Published Here
November 19, 2019