Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas frequently associated with poor prognosis and for which genetic mechanisms of transformation remain incompletely understood. Using RNA sequencing and targeted sequencing, here we identify a recurrent in-frame deletion (VAV1 Δ778-786) generated by a focal deletion-driven alternative splicing mechanism as well as novel VAV1 gene fusions (VAV1-THAP4, VAV1-MYO1F, and VAV1-S100A7) in PTCL. Mechanistically these genetic lesions result in increased activation of VAV1 catalytic-dependent (MAPK, JNK) and non-catalytic-dependent (nuclear factor of activated T cells, NFAT) VAV1 effector pathways. These results support a driver oncogenic role for VAV1 signaling in the pathogenesis of PTCL.
Keywords: VAV1; gene fusion; mutation; peripheral T-cell lymphoma.