The underlying molecular events of B cell lymphoma are only partially resolved. Lotte de Winde, group van Annemiek van Spriel, Dept. of Tumor Immunology, theme Cancer development and immune defence, now discovered that deficiency of tetraspanin CD37, a membrane-organizing receptor important for B cell function, induces the spontaneous development of B cell lymphoma in mice.
In B cells, CD37 interacts with suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), a negative feedback regulator of the IL-6 signaling pathway. In absence of CD37, this pathway is constitutively activated resulting in tumor development. Moreover, loss of CD37 on tumor cells in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) directly correlated with worse survival. This study identifies CD37 as novel tumor suppressor in B cell lymphoma.
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