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Br J Haematol. 2012 Mar;156(5):601-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08962.x. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Behind the scenes of non-nodal MCL: downmodulation of genes involved in actin cytoskeleton organization, cell projection, cell adhesion, tumour invasion, TP53 pathway and mutated status of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes.

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  • 1Division of Haematology, Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Haematology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive neoplasm with a short survival. Cases with leukaemic MCL and splenomegaly without adenopathies (non-nodal MCL) may have a more indolent course. To gain insights into the biological features underlying this presentation, we investigated the gene expression profile (GEP) and the IGHV mutational status in a cohort of leukaemic MCL cases. Comparison of MCL with other lymphoproliferative disorders (i.e. splenic marginal zone lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) revealed a MCL signature enriched for the following gene categories: mitochondrion, oxidoreductase activity, response to stress, to DNA damage and TP53-pathway. Furthermore, GEP analysis revealed that non-nodal MCL cases were characterized by the down-modulation of the following gene categories: cell projection, actin cytoskeleton organization, cell adhesion (ITGAE, CELSR1, PCDH9) and tumour invasion/progression (PGF, ST14, ETS1, OCIAD1, EZR). Many down-modulated genes were related to the TP53-pathway and to DNA damage response. IGHV status proved unmutated in all nodal and mutated in all non-nodal MCL. Non-nodal leukaemic MCLs display a peculiar clinical presentation, with distinctive biological features, such as mutated IGHV and a transcriptional profile lacking tumour invasion properties, that might contribute to the absence of nodal involvement and to the less aggressive clinical course.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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