Human germinal center-associated lymphoma (HGAL) is an adaptor protein specifically expressed in germinal center lymphocytes. High expression of HGAL is a predictor of prolonged survival of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Furthermore, HGAL expression is associated with early-stage DLBCL, thus potentially limiting lymphoma dissemination. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that HGAL regulates B-cell receptor signaling and cell motility in vitro and deciphered some molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. By using novel animal models for in vivo DLBCL dispersion, we demonstrate here that HGAL decreases lymphoma dissemination and prolongs survival. Furthermore, by using an unbiased proteomic approach, we demonstrate that HGAL may interact with multiple cytoskeletal proteins thereby implicating a multiplicity of effects in regulating lymphoma motility and spread. Specifically, we show that HGAL interacts with tubulin, and this interaction may also contribute to HGAL effects on cell motility. These findings recapitulate previous observations in humans, establish the role of HGAL in dissemination of lymphoma in vivo, and explain improved survival of patients with HGAL-expressing lymphomas.
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