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Blood. 2013 Jun 6;121(23):4718-28. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-12-470153. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Trimeric G protein-CARMA1 axis links smoothened, the hedgehog receptor transducer, to NF-κB activation in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoid malignancy in adults. Aberrant activation of Hedgehog (Hh) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathways is ubiquitously observed and known to mediate tumor growth, survival, and chemoresistance in DLBCL. Here, we find that activation of Hh signaling is positively correlated with NF-κB pathway in DLBCL tumors, and that smoothened (SMO), the signal transducer subunit of Hh pathway, contributes to NF-κB activation through recruiting G protein subunits Gαi and Gα12 to activate PKCβ/CARMA1/TRAF6/NEMO signaling axis followed by assembling of the CARMA1/BCL10/MALT1/TRAF6 complex to SMO. Moreover, functional inhibition of SMO enhances the cytotoxic effects of NF-κB inhibitor. Altogether, our study reveals a noncanonical Hh signaling pathway in which SMO activates trimeric G proteins and CARMA1-associated signaling complex, leading to NF-κB activation. This signaling cascade contributes to the survival of DLBCL and may serve as a potential target for combination therapies in DLBCL.

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