IκB-ζ controls the constitutive NF-κB target gene network and survival of ABC DLBCL


  • H. Nogai
  • S.S. Wenzel
  • S. Hailfinger
  • M. Grau
  • E. Kaergel
  • V. Seitz
  • B. Wollert-Wulf
  • M. Pfeifer
  • A. Wolf
  • M. Frick
  • K. Dietze
  • H. Madle
  • A. Tzankov
  • M. Hummel
  • B. Dörken
  • C. Scheidereit
  • M. Janz
  • P. Lenz
  • M. Thome
  • G. Lenz


  • Blood


  • Blood 122 (13): 2242-2250


  • Constitutive activation of the nuclear factor-κ B (NF-κB) pathway is a hallmark of the activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Recurrent mutations of NF-κB regulators that cause constitutive activity of this oncogenic pathway have been identified. However, it remains unclear how specific target genes are regulated. We identified the atypical nuclear IκB protein IκB-ζ to be upregulated in ABC compared to germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) DLBCL primary patient samples. Knockdown of IκB-ζ by RNA interference was toxic to ABC but not GCB DLBCL cell lines. Gene expression profiling following IκB-ζ knockdown demonstrated a significant downregulation of a large number of known NF-κB target genes, indicating an essential role of IκB-ζ in regulating a specific set of NF-κB target genes. To further investigate how IκB-ζ mediates NF-κB activity, we performed immunoprecipitations and detected a physical interaction of IκB-ζ with both p50 and p52 NF-κB subunits, indicating that IκB-ζ interacts with components of both the canonical and the non-canonical NF-κB pathway in ABC DLBCL. Collectively, our data demonstrate that IκB-ζ is essential for nuclear NF-κB activity in ABC DLBCL and thus might represent a promising molecular target for future therapies.