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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60275. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060275. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

CLL cells respond to B-Cell receptor stimulation with a microRNA/mRNA signature associated with MYC activation and cell cycle progression.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology; Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2014;9(1). doi:10.1371/annotation/7ab67087-8bdd-458b-bb77-e03c166a87ca.

Abstract

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disease with variable clinical outcome. Several prognostic factors such as the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable genes (IGHV) mutation status are linked to the B-cell receptor (BCR) complex, supporting a role for triggering the BCR in vivo in the pathogenesis. The miRNA profile upon stimulation and correlation with IGHV mutation status is however unknown. To evaluate the transcriptional response of peripheral blood CLL cells upon BCR stimulation in vitro, miRNA and mRNA expression was measured using hybridization arrays and qPCR. We found both IGHV mutated and unmutated CLL cells to respond with increased expression of MYC and other genes associated with BCR activation, and a phenotype of cell cycle progression. Genome-wide expression studies showed hsa-miR-132-3p/hsa-miR-212 miRNA cluster induction associated with a set of downregulated genes, enriched for genes modulated by BCR activation and amplified by Myc. We conclude that BCR triggering of CLL cells induces a transcriptional response of genes associated with BCR activation, enhanced cell cycle entry and progression and suggest that part of the transcriptional profiles linked to IGHV mutation status observed in isolated peripheral blood are not cell intrinsic but rather secondary to in vivo BCR stimulation.

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