DOI: 10.1111/bjh.19018 ISSN:

ETS1 phosphorylation at threonine 38 is associated with the cell of origin of diffuse large B cell lymphoma and sustains the growth of tumour cells

Elaine Y. L. Chung, Giulio Sartori, Maurilio Ponzoni, Luciano Cascione, Valdemar Priebe, Zijun Y. Xu‐Monette, Xiaosheng Fang, Mingzhi Zhang, Carlo Visco, Alexandar Tzankov, Andrea Rinaldi, Jacopo Sgrignani, Emanuele Zucca, Davide Rossi, Andrea Cavalli, Giorgio Inghirami, David W. Scott, Ken H. Young, Francesco Bertoni
  • Hematology


The transcriptional factor ETS1 is upregulated in 25% of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Here, we studied the role of ETS1 phosphorylation at threonine 38, a marker for ETS1 activation, in DLBCL cellular models and clinical specimens. p‐ETS1 was detected in activated B cell‐like DLBCL (ABC), not in germinal centre B‐cell‐like DLBCL (GCB) cell lines and, accordingly, it was more common in ABC than GCB DLBCL diagnostic biopsies. MEK inhibition decreased both baseline and IgM stimulation‐induced p‐ETS1 levels. Genetic inhibition of phosphorylation of ETS1 at threonine 38 affected the growth and the BCR‐mediated transcriptome program in DLBCL cell lines. Our data demonstrate that ETS1 phosphorylation at threonine 38 is important for the growth of DLBCL cells and its pharmacological inhibition could benefit lymphoma patients.

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