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Blood. 2009 Nov 19;114(21):4703-12. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-03-213058. Epub 2009 Sep 28.

TAPP2 links phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling to B-cell adhesion through interaction with the cytoskeletal protein utrophin: expression of a novel cell adhesion-promoting complex in B-cell leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba, 415 Apotex Centre, 750 McDermot Ave, Winnipeg, MB, R3E-0T5.


Tandem pleckstrin homology domain proteins (TAPPs) are recruited to the plasma membrane via binding to phosphoinositides produced by phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks). Whereas PI3Ks are critical for B-cell activation, the functions of TAPP proteins in B cells are unknown. We have identified 40 potential interaction partners of TAPP2 in B cells, including proteins involved in cytoskeletal rearrangement, signal transduction and endocytic trafficking. The association of TAPP2 with the cytoskeletal proteins utrophin and syntrophin was confirmed by Western blotting. We found that TAPP2, syntrophin, and utrophin are coexpressed in normal human B cells and B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells. TAPP2 and syntrophin expression in B-CLL was variable from patient to patient, with significantly higher expression in the more aggressive disease subset identified by zeta-chain-associated protein kinase of 70 kDa (ZAP70) expression and unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) genes. We examined whether TAPP can regulate cell adhesion, a known function of utrophin/syntrophin in other cell types. Expression of membrane-targeted TAPP2 enhanced B-cell adhesion to fibronectin and laminin, whereas PH domain-mutant TAPP2 inhibited adhesion. siRNA knockdown of TAPP2 or utrophin, or treatment with PI3K inhibitors, significantly inhibited adhesion. These findings identify TAPP2 as a novel link between PI3K signaling and the cytoskeleton with potential relevance for leukemia progression.

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