Toll-like receptor signaling pathway in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Distinct gene expression profiles of potential pathogenic significance in specific subsets of patients

Eleni Arvaniti, Stavroula Ntoufa, Nikos Papakonstantinou, Tasoula Touloumenidou, Nikolaos Laoutaris, Achilles Anagnostopoulos, Klea Lamnissou, Federico Caligaris-Cappio, Kostas Stamatopoulos, Paolo Ghia, Marta Muzio, Chrysoula Belessi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Signaling through the B-cell receptor appears to be a major contributor to the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Toll-like receptors bridge the innate and adaptive immune responses by acting as co-stimulatory signals for B cells. The available data on the expression of Toll-like receptors in chronic lymphocytic leukemia are limited and derive from small series of patients. Design and Methods We profiled the expression of genes associated with Toll-like receptor signaling pathways in 192 cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and explored potential associations with molecular features of the clonotypic B-cell receptors. Results Chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells express all Toll-like receptors expressed by normal activated B cells, with high expression of TLR7 and CD180, intermediate expression of TLR1, TLR6, TLR10 and low expression of TLR2 and TLR9. The vast majority of adaptors, effectors and members of the NFKB, JNK/p38, NF/IL6 and IRF pathways are intermediately-to-highly expressed, while inhibitors of Toll-like receptor activity are generally low-to-undetectable, indicating that the Toll-like receptor-signaling framework is competent in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Significant differences were identified for selected genes between cases carrying mutated or unmutated IGHV genes or assigned to different subsets with stereotyped B-cell receptors. The differentially expressed molecules include receptors, NFkB/MAPK signaling molecules and final targets of the cascade. Conclusions The observed variations are suggestive of distinctive activation patterns of the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway in subgroups of cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia defined by the molecular features of B-cell receptors. Additionally, they indicate that different or concomitant signals acting through receptors other than the B-cell receptor can affect the behavior of the malignant clone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1644-1652
Number of pages9
JournalHaematologica
Volume96
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011

Keywords

  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Signaling pathway
  • Toll-like receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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