Disruption of KLHL6 Fuels Oncogenic Antigen Receptor Signaling in B-cell Lymphoma

Blood Cancer Discov. 2024 Apr 17. doi: 10.1158/2643-3230.BCD-23-0182. Online ahead of print.


Pathomechanisms that activate oncogenic B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), are largely unknown. Kelch-like family member 6 (KLHL6) encoding a substrate-adapter for Cullin-3-RING E3 ubiquitin-ligase (CRL) with poorly established targets is recurrently mutated in DLBCL. By applying high-throughput protein interactome screens and functional characterization, we discovered that KLHL6 regulates BCR by targeting its signaling subunits CD79A and CD79B. Loss of physiological KLHL6 expression pattern was frequent among the MCD/C5-like activated B-cell DLBCLs and was associated with higher CD79B levels and dismal outcome. Mutations in the BTB domain of KLHL6 disrupted its localization and heterodimerization, and increased surface BCR levels and signaling, whereas Kelch domain mutants had the opposite effect. Malfunctions of KLHL6 mutants extended beyond proximal BCR signaling with distinct phenotypes from KLHL6 silencing. Collectively, our findings uncover how recurrent mutations in KLHL6 alter BCR signaling and induce actionable phenotypic characteristics in DLBCL.