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Cancer Res. 2001 Mar 1;61(5):2080-4.

Oct-2 and Bob-1 deficiency in Hodgkin and Reed Sternberg cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Cologne, Germany.


Hodgkin and Reed Sternberg (H-RS) cells represent the malignant cells in classical Hodgkin's disease. Although derived from germinal center B cells, they do not express surface immunoglobulin. This has been explained by the presence of crippling mutations within the immunoglobulin genes in numerous cases of Hodgkin's disease. As immunoglobulin gene expression in B cells requires an interaction between octamer sites and the transactivating factors Oct-2 and Bob-1, this study addresses the expression of the transcription factors Oct-2 and Bob-1 in H-RS cells. In Hodgkin's disease-derived cell lines, low levels of Oct-2 transcripts but no Oct-2 protein were detected. Transcripts of Bob-1, a B-cell-specific co-factor of Oct-2, could not be observed in these cell lines. Absence of Oct-2 and Bob-1 protein expression in primary H-RS cells was demonstrated by performing immunohistochemistry in 20 cases of classical Hodgkin's disease. H-RS cells stained negative for both proteins in all of the cases analyzed. In conclusion, absence of functional Oct-2 and Bob-1 cells represents a novel mechanism for immunoglobulin gene deregulation in H-RS cells. Lack of Oct-2 and Bob-1 points to a defect in transcription machinery in H-RS cells and is associated with lack of immunoglobulin gene expression in these cells.

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