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Le Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille fête ses 50 ans ! -

Jan 2008 Blood

PKC zeta mTOR pathway: a new target for rituximab therapy in follicular lymphoma.


Leseux L, Laurent G, Laurent C, Rigo M, Blanc A, Olive D, Bezombes C


Previous studies have documented that, in malignant B cells, rituximab elicits a complex and not yet totally understood signaling network contributing to its antitumor effect. In this context, we investigated the role of protein kinase C zeta (PKCzeta), an atypical PKC isoform, in the cellular response to rituximab. We found that follicular lymphoma cells displayed an increase in PKCzeta expression and activity levels, compared with nonmalignant B cells, and that this enzyme was a critical regulator of the classical MAPK module by stimulating Raf-1 kinase activity. PKCzeta appeared to be a significant contributor of abnormal mTOR regulation in follicular lymphoma cells through a MAPK-dependent mechanism. Rituximab was found to inhibit the PKCzeta/MAPK/mTOR module in these cells but not in other B-cell lymphomas. Importantly, the expression of a constitutively active form of PKCzeta resulted in an efficient protection of these cells toward rituximab. Altogether, our study describes a new regulatory component of mTOR pathway in follicular cell lymphoma and demonstrates that PKCzeta is a target for rituximab. Therefore, PKCzeta could represent an important parameter for rituximab efficacy and a promising target for future targeted therapy in follicular lymphoma.

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