The transcription factor PU.1, necessary for B-cell development is expressed in lymphocyte predominance, but not classical Hodgkin's disease

Am J Pathol. 2001 Nov;159(5):1807-14. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63027-1.


Hodgkin's disease (HD) is a lymphoproliferative disease of predominantly B-cell origin. However, the reasons for the incomplete development of the B-cell phenotype and lack of immunoglobulin expression in classical HD (cHD) have not been fully explained. We examined the expression of PU.1 in HD, an Ets-family transcription factor, which regulates the expression of immunoglobulin and other genes that are important for B-cell development. Immunohistochemistry for PU.1 was performed on 35 cases of cHD and 15 cases of lymphocyte predominance HD as well as 67 non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). Expression of PU.1 was studied by Western blotting in four cHD-derived cell lines and in five NHL cell lines. We also studied the expression of two additional B-cell transcription factors, B-cell-specific activator protein and Oct-2. Our results show a striking lack of PU.1 expression by neoplastic cells in cHD but not in lymphocyte predominance HD. Our study also confirmed that B-cell-specific activator protein but not Oct-2 is not expressed by cHD. Western blotting showed no PU.1 protein expression in the cHD-derived cell lines, with the exception of one cell line of putative monocyte/histiocyte origin. The lack of PU.1 protein expression in cHD likely contributes to the lack of immunoglobulin expression and incomplete B-cell phenotype characteristic of the Reed-Sternberg cells in cHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Hodgkin Disease / classification
  • Hodgkin Disease / metabolism*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / metabolism
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-2
  • Phenotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-2
  • POU2F2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • proto-oncogene protein Spi-1