Scientific publications

Frequent mutations in the amino-terminal domain of BCL7A impair its tumor suppressor role in DLBCL

Oct 1, 2020 | Magazine: Leukemia

Carlos Baliñas-Gavira, María I Rodríguez, Alvaro Andrades, Marta Cuadros, Juan Carlos Álvarez-Pérez, Ángel F Álvarez-Prado, Virginia G de Yébenes, Sabina Sánchez-Hernández, Elvira Fernández-Vigo, Javier Muñoz, Francisco Martín, Almudena R Ramiro, José A Martínez-Climent, Pedro P Medina


Mutations in genes encoding subunits of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex are frequently found in different human cancers. While the tumor suppressor function of this complex is widely established in solid tumors, its role in hematologic malignancies is largely unknown. Recurrent point mutations in BCL7A gene, encoding a subunit of the SWI/SNF complex, have been reported in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but their functional impact remains to be elucidated.

Here we show that BCL7A often undergoes biallelic inactivation, including a previously unnoticed mutational hotspot in the splice donor site of intron one. The splice site mutations render a truncated BCL7A protein, lacking a portion of the amino-terminal domain. Moreover, restoration of wild-type BCL7A expression elicits a tumor suppressor-like phenotype in vitro and in vivo.

In contrast, splice site mutations block the tumor suppressor function of BCL7A by preventing its binding to the SWI/SNF complex. We also show that BCL7A restoration induces transcriptomic changes in genes involved in B-cell activation. In addition, we report that SWI/SNF complex subunits harbor mutations in more than half of patients with germinal center B-cell (GCB)-DLBCL. Overall, this work demonstrates the tumor suppressor function of BCL7A in DLBCL, and highlights that the SWI/SNF complex plays a relevant role in DLBCL pathogenesis.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Leukemia. 2020 Oct;34(10):2722-2735. doi: 10.1038/s41375-020-0919-5. 

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