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Blood. 2005 Dec 15;106(13):4287-93. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

Elevated NF-kappaB p50 complex formation and Bcl-3 expression in classical Hodgkin, anaplastic large-cell, and other peripheral T-cell lymphomas.

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Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, FG Dörken, D-13125 Berlin, Germany.


Transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). In anaplastic large-cell lymphomas (ALCLs), which share molecular lesions with cHL, the NF-kappaB system has not been equivalently investigated. Here we describe constitutive NF-kappaB p50 homodimer [(p50)2] activity in ALCL cells in the absence of constitutive activation of the IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex. Furthermore, (p50)2 contributes to the NF-kappaB activity in Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells. Bcl-3, which is an inducer of nuclear (p50)2 and is associated with (p50)2 in ALCL and HRS cell lines, is abundantly expressed in ALCL and HRS cells. Notably, a selective overexpression of Bcl-3 target genes is found in ALCL cells. By immunohistochemical screening of 288 lymphoma cases, a strong Bcl-3 expression in cHL and in peripheral T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (T-NHL) including ALCL was found. In 3 of 6 HRS cell lines and 25% of primary ALCL, a copy number increase of the BCL3 gene locus was identified. Together, these data suggest that elevated Bcl-3 expression has an important function in cHL and peripheral T-NHL, in particular ALCL.

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