Aberrant expression of Notch1 interferes with the B-lymphoid phenotype of neoplastic B cells in classical Hodgkin lymphoma


  • F. Jundt
  • O. Acikgoez
  • S.H. Kwon
  • R. Schwarzer
  • I. Anagnostopoulos
  • B. Wiesner
  • S. Mathas
  • M. Hummel
  • H. Stein
  • H.M. Reichardt
  • B. Doerken


  • Leukemia


  • Leukemia 22 (8): 1587-1594


  • Plasticity of committed mouse B cells has been demonstrated by inactivation of the B-cell commitment transcription factor PAX5, resulting in loss of the B-cell phenotype and differentiation into various hematopoietic lineages. Furthermore, mature mouse B cells could be reprogrammed into macrophages by overexpression of myeloid-specific transcription factors. Here, we report that aberrant activity of the transmembrane receptor, Notch1, interferes with the B-lymphoid phenotype of mature human germinal center-derived B cells in Hodgkin lymphoma, so called Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells. They have lost the B-cell phenotype despite their mature B-cell origin. Notch1 remodels the B-cell transcription factor network by antagonizing the key transcription factors E2A and early B-cell factor (EBF). Through this mechanism, B lineage-specific genes were suppressed and B lineage-inappropriate genes were induced. We provide evidence that absence of the Notch inhibitor Deltex1 contributes to deregulated Notch activity in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells. These data suggest that Notch activation interferes with dedifferentiation of neoplastic B cells in Hodgkin lymphoma.