The critical role of germinal center-associated nuclear protein in cell biology, immunohematology, and hematolymphoid oncogenesis

Exp Hematol. 2020 Oct:90:30-38. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2020.08.007. Epub 2020 Aug 20.


Germinal center-associated nuclear protein (GANP) is a unique and multifunctional protein that plays a critical role in cell biology, neurodegenerative disorders, immunohematology, and oncogenesis. GANP is an orthologue of Saccharomyces Sac3, one of the components of the transcription export 2 (TREX-2) complex and a messenger RNA (mRNA) nuclear export factor. GANP is widely conserved in all mammals, including humans. Although GANP was originally discovered as a molecule upregulated in the germinal centers of secondary lymphoid follicles in peripheral lymphoid organs, it is expressed ubiquitously in many tissues. It serves numerous functions, including making up part of the mammalian TREX-2 complex; mRNA nuclear export via nuclear pores; prevention of R-loop formation, genomic instability, and hyper-recombination; and B-cell affinity maturation. In this review, we first overview the extensive analyses that have revealed the basic functions of GANP and its ancestor molecule Sac3, including mRNA nuclear export and regulation of R-loop formation. We then describe how aberrant expression of GANP is significantly associated with cancer development. Moreover, we discuss a crucial role for GANP in B-cell development, especially affinity maturation in germinal centers. Finally, we illustrate that overexpression of GANP in B cells leads to lymphomagenesis resembling Hodgkin lymphoma derived from germinal center B cells, and that GANP may be involved in transdifferentiation of B cells to macrophages, which strongly affects Hodgkin lymphomagenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / immunology*
  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / immunology
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Carcinogenesis / immunology*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cell Transdifferentiation / immunology
  • Germinal Center / immunology
  • Germinal Center / pathology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hodgkin Disease / immunology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / immunology
  • RNA, Neoplasm / immunology


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Acetyltransferases
  • MCM3AP protein, human