PLCγ1/PKCθ Downstream Signaling Controls Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Development and Progression

J Invest Dermatol. 2022 May;142(5):1391-1400.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2021.09.024. Epub 2021 Oct 21.


Developing mechanistic rationales can improve the clinical management of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. There is considerable genetic and biological evidence of a malignant network of signaling mechanisms, highly influenced by deregulated TCR/PLCγ1 activity, controlling the biology of these lesions. In addition, activated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 is associated with clinical progression, although the alterations responsible for this have not been fully elucidated. Here, we studied PLCγ1-dependent mechanisms that can mediate STAT3 activation and control tumor growth and progression. Downstream of PLCγ1, the pharmacological inhibition and genetic knockdown of protein kinase C theta (PKCθ) inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation, impaired proliferation, and promoted apoptosis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma cells. A PKCθ-dependent transcriptome in mycosis fungoides/Sézary syndrome cells revealed potential effector genes controlling cytokine signaling, TP53, and actin cytoskeleton dynamics. Consistently, an in vivo chicken embryo model xenografted with mycosis fungoides cells showed that PKCθ blockage abrogates tumor growth and spread to distant organs. Finally, the expression of a number of PKCθ target genes found in mycosis fungoides cells significantly correlated with that of PRKCQ (PKCθ) in 81 human mycosis fungoides samples. In summary, PKCθ can play a central role in the activation of malignant cutaneous T-cell lymphoma mechanisms via multiple routes, including, but not restricted to, STAT3. These mechanisms may, in turn, serve as targets for specific therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous* / genetics
  • Mycosis Fungoides* / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C-theta / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C-theta / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms* / genetics


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Protein Kinase C-theta