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IκB-ζ controls the constitutive NF-κB target gene network and survival of ABC DLBCL.
Constitutive activation of the nuclear factor-κ B (NF-κB) pathway is a hallmark of the activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Recurrent mutations of NF-κB regulators that cause constitutive activity of this oncogenic pathway have been identified. However, it remains unclear how specific target genes are regulated. We identified the atypical nuclear IκB protein IκB-ζ to be upregulated in ABC compared with germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) DLBCL primary patient samples. Knockdown of IκB-ζ by RNA interference was toxic to ABC but not to GCB DLBCL cell lines. Gene expression profiling after IκB-ζ knockdown demonstrated a significant downregulation of a large number of known NF-κB target genes, indicating an essential role of IκB-ζ in regulating a specific set of NF-κB target genes. To further investigate how IκB-ζ mediates NF-κB activity, we performed immunoprecipitations and detected a physical interaction of IκB-ζ with both p50 and p52 NF-κB subunits, indicating that IκB-ζ interacts with components of both the canonical and the noncanonical NF-κB pathway in ABC DLBCL. Collectively, our data demonstrate that IκB-ζ is essential for nuclear NF-κB activity in ABC DLBCL, and thus might represent a promising molecular target for future therapies.
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