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Lab Invest. 2002 Jul;82(7):893-901.

High expression of methionine aminopeptidase type 2 in germinal center B cells and their neoplastic counterparts.

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Division of Pathology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Methionine aminopeptidase type 2 (MetAP2) is a bifunctional protein that plays critical roles in the regulation of protein synthesis and post-translational processing by (a) protecting the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 from inhibitory phosphorylation by eukaryotic initiation factor 2 kinases and (b) removing the amino-terminal methionine residue from nascent protein. MetAP2 is also known as the molecular target of the angiogenesis inhibitor TNP-470. In addition, it has been recently suggested that MetAP2 has an antiapoptotic function in mesothelioma. To know the pattern of expression of MetAP2 in normal and neoplastic tissues, we raised two specific rabbit polyclonal Abs and examined the pattern of MetAP2 expression in various normal and pathologic specimens. Unexpectedly, we found a very high and selective expression of MetAP2 in germinal center B cells. In the germinal center, dark zone B cells tended to express more MetAP2 than light zone B cells. When 200 malignant lymphomas of various subtypes were studied, a high level of MetAP2 expression, equivalent to that observed in germinal center B cells, was noted exclusively on B-cell lymphoma subtypes that are currently regarded as the neoplastic counterparts of germinal center B cells. The expression of MetAP2 in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas correlated well with that of BCL6 (p < 0.05) but not with that of either CD10 or BCL2. These data suggest that MetAP2 has specific function(s) in germinal center B cells and that the function is shared by neoplastic counterparts of germinal center B cells.

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