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J Exp Med. 2008 Jun 9;205(6):1317-29. doi: 10.1084/jem.20080238. Epub 2008 May 19.

Constitutive CD40 signaling in B cells selectively activates the noncanonical NF-kappaB pathway and promotes lymphomagenesis.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environment and Health, D-81377 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

CD40, a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family, plays an essential role in T cell-dependent immune responses. Because CD40 is widely expressed on the surface of tumor cells in various B cell malignancies, deregulated CD40 signaling has been suggested to contribute to lymphomagenesis. In this study, we show that B cell-specific expression of a constitutively active CD40 receptor, in the form of a latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1)/CD40 chimeric protein, promoted an increase in the number of follicular and marginal zone B cells in secondary lymphoid organs in transgenic mice. The B cells displayed an activated phenotype, prolonged survival and increased proliferation, but were significantly impaired in T cell-dependent immune responses. Constitutive CD40 signaling in B cells induced selective and constitutive activation of the noncanonical NF-kappaB pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinases Jnk and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. LMP1/CD40-expressing mice older than 12 mo developed B cell lymphomas of mono- or oligoclonal origin at high incidence, thus showing that the interplay of the signaling pathways induced by constitutive CD40 signaling is sufficient to initiate a tumorigenic process, ultimately leading to the development of B cell lymphomas.

PMID:
18490492
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2413030
Free PMC Article
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