Distinct subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) genetically resemble specific mature B-cell populations that are blocked at different stages of the immune response in germinal centers (GCs). The activated B-cell (ABC)-like subgroup resembles post-GC plasmablasts undergoing constitutive survival signaling, yet knowledge of the mechanisms that negatively regulate this oncogenic signaling remains incomplete. In this study, we report that microRNA (miR)-181a is a negative regulator of nuclear factor κ-light-chain enhancer of activated B-cells (NF-κB) signaling. miR-181a overexpression significantly decreases the expression and activity of key NF-κB signaling components. Moreover, miR-181a decreases DLBCL tumor cell proliferation and survival, and anti-miR-181a abrogates these effects. Remarkably, these effects are augmented in the NF-κB dependent ABC-like subgroup compared with the GC B-cell (GCB)-like DLBCL subgroup. Concordantly, in vivo analyses of miR-181a induction in xenografts results in slower tumor growth rate and prolonged survival in the ABC-like DLBCL xenografts compared with the GCB-like DLBCL. We link these outcomes to relatively lower endogenous miR-181a expression and to NF-κB signaling dependency in the ABC-like DLBCL subgroup. Our findings indicate that miR-181a inhibits NF-κB activity, and that manipulation of miR-181a expression in the ABC-like DLBCL genetic background may result in a significant change in the proliferation and survival phenotype of this malignancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology