Background: MYC is a heterogeneously expressed transcription factor that plays a multifunctional role in many biological processes such as cell proliferation and differentiation. It is also associated with many types of cancer including the malignant lymphomas. There are two types of aggressive B-cell lymphoma, namely Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and a subgroup of diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which both carry MYC translocations and overexpress MYC but both differ significantly in their clinical outcome. In DLBCL, MYC translocations are associated with an aggressive behavior and poor outcome, whereas MYC-positive BL show a superior outcome.
Methods: To shed light on this phenomenon, we investigated the different modes of actions of MYC in aggressive B-cell lymphoma cell lines subdivided into three groups: (i) MYC-positive BL, (ii) DLBCL with MYC translocation (DLBCLpos) and (iii) DLBCL without MYC translocation (DLBCLneg) for control. In order to identify genome-wide MYC-DNA binding sites a chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) was performed. In addition, ChIP-Seq for H3K4me3 was used for determination of genomic regions accessible for transcriptional activity. These data were supplemented with gene expression data derived from RNA-Seq.
Results: Bioinformatics integration of all data sets revealed different MYC-binding patterns and transcriptional profiles in MYC-positive BL and DLBCL cell lines indicating different functional roles of MYC for gene regulation in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Based on this multi-omics analysis we identified ADGRE5 (alias CD97) - a member of the EGF-TM7 subfamily of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors - as a MYC target gene, which is specifically expressed in BL but not in DLBCL regardless of MYC translocation.
Conclusion: Our study describes a diverse genome-wide MYC-DNA binding pattern in BL and DLBCL cell lines with and without MYC translocations. Furthermore, we identified ADREG5 as a MYC target gene able to discriminate between BL and DLBCL irrespectively of the presence of MYC breaks in DLBCL. Since ADGRE5 plays an important role in tumor cell formation, metastasis and invasion, it might also be instrumental to better understand the different pathobiology of BL and DLBCL and help to explain discrepant clinical characteristics of BL and DLBCL.
Keywords: ADGRE5; BL; CD97; ChIP-Seq; DLBCL; Lymphoma; MYC; RNA-Seq.