Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive B-cell malignancy that characteristically shows overexpression of cyclin-D1 due to an alteration in the t(11;14)(q13;q32) chromosomal region. Although there are some promising treatment modalities, great majority of patients with this disease remain incurable. The B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling plays a crucial role in B-cell biology and lymphomagenesis. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) has been identified as a key component of the BCR signaling pathway. Evidence suggests that the blockade of BTK activity by potent pharmacologic inhibitors attenuates BCR signaling and induces cell death. Notably, the expression levels and the role of BTK in MCL survival are still elusive. Here, we demonstrated a moderate to strong BTK expression in all MCL cases (n=19) compared to benign lymphoid tissues. Treatment of MCL cell lines (Mino or Jeko-1) with a potent BTK pharmacologic inhibitor, Ibrutinib, decreased phospho-BTK-Tyr(223) expression. Consistent with this observation, Ibrutinib inhibited the viability of both Mino and JeKo-1 cells in concentration- and time-dependent manners. Ibrutinib also induced a concentration-dependent apoptosis in both cell lines. Consistently, Ibrutinib treatment decreased the levels of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1 protein. These findings suggest that BTK signaling plays a critical role in MCL cell survival, and the targeting of BTK could represent a promising therapeutic modality for aggressive lymphoma.
Keywords: BCR signaling pathway; Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK); Ibrutinib; Mantle cell lymphoma.
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