Expression of Smac/DIABLO in B-cell non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas

Hum Pathol. 2006 Nov;37(11):1407-13. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2006.06.006. Epub 2006 Sep 1.


Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are upregulated in cancers and suppress cell death, in part, through their ability to directly inhibit caspases. Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins are differentially expressed in B-cell lymphomas. The functions of some IAPs are counteracted by the cell death inducer, second mitochondrial-derived activator of caspases/direct IAP binding protein with low pI (Smac/DIABLO). In this study, we investigated the expression levels of Smac/DIABLO in 14 lymphoma cell lines by Western blot analysis. We also assessed 247 B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and 40 Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) tumors using immunohistochemical methods. Smac/DIABLO was expressed in most NHL and all HL cell lines. In NHL, Smac/DIABLO was expressed in 117 (47%) tumors and was differentially expressed in various NHL types. In most NHLs, from 29% to 68% of tumors were positive; however, Smac/DIABLO was not detected in small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Burkitt lymphoma, and was rare in extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. In HL, Smac/DIABLO was positive in 25 (63%) tumors. Unlike NHL, all types of HL were positive for Smac/DIABLO, although nodular sclerosis was least often positive. The differential expression of Smac/DIABLO in NHLs suggests that apoptotic mechanisms are differentially involved in their pathogenesis. These results may also have implications for using Smac/DIABLO or its agonists as therapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Expression
  • Hodgkin Disease / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / biosynthesis*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DIABLO protein, human
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins