Gene Summary

Gene:TNFRSF17; TNF receptor superfamily member 17
Aliases: BCM, BCMA, CD269, TNFRSF13A
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the TNF-receptor superfamily. This receptor is preferentially expressed in mature B lymphocytes, and may be important for B cell development and autoimmune response. This receptor has been shown to specifically bind to the tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 13b (TNFSF13B/TALL-1/BAFF), and to lead to NF-kappaB and MAPK8/JNK activation. This receptor also binds to various TRAF family members, and thus may transduce signals for cell survival and proliferation. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 17
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Survival Rate
  • Bone Marrow
  • Gene Expression
  • B-Cell Activation Factor Receptor
  • Base Sequence
  • Membrane Proteins
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • Transcriptome
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • TWEAK Receptor
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival
  • Tumor Burden
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Western Blotting
  • TNF
  • Chromosome 16
  • Republic of Korea
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Messenger RNA
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 13
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Xenograft Models
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • B-Cell Maturation Antigen
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Plasma Cells
  • Stomach Cancer
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: TNFRSF17 (cancer-related)

Cohen AD
CAR T Cells and Other Cellular Therapies for Multiple Myeloma: 2018 Update.
Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2018; 38:e6-e15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cellular therapies are a rapidly evolving approach to myeloma treatment, which bring a unique mechanism of action with the potential to overcome drug resistance and induce long-term remissions. Two primary approaches are being studied: non-gene-modified strategies, which rely on the endogenous anti-myeloma T-cell repertoire, and gene-modified strategies, which introduce a new T-cell receptor (TCR) or a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to confer novel antigen specificity. CAR T cells show the greatest activity to date. Multiple antigen targets, including B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), CD19, CD38, CD138, and SLAMF7, are being explored for myeloma, and BCMA has emerged as the most promising. Preliminary data from four phase I studies of BCMA CAR T cells, each using a different CAR construct, that involved 90 evaluable patients with relapsed/refractory disease have been reported. These data show response rates of 60% to 100%, including minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative complete remissions, at effective doses (> 10

Ohmine K
[Clinical development of CAR-T therapy for refractory multiple myeloma].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2018; 59(8):1058-1065 [PubMed] Related Publications
A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) comprises an extracellular ligand recognition domain linked to CD3ζ and induces T-cell activation upon antigen binding. Recently, the potential of CD19-targeted CAR T-cells (CAR-T) to treat multiple myeloma has been explored. A group in the University of Pennsylvania reported that 4 out of 10 patients with refractory myeloma achieved an objective response (sCR: 1, VGPR: 1, and PR: 2). Although the resultant cancer ablation was an arresting sight, it remains unclear whether CD19 is a suitable target for myeloma. Therefore, CAR-T therapy employing alternative target antigens is being attempted. Some current clinical trials are utilizing CAR against differentiation antigens, including CD138, CD38, and kappa light chain. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is also a potential candidate. A group in the NCI described 12 patients with refractory myeloma enrolled in a BCMA-CAR phase 1 clinical trial. Two patients receiving the highest dosage attained an objective response. Nevertheless, considerable research is required for CAR immunotherapy to become universally available to patients with myeloma. The current enthusiasm for the development of this cutting-edge technology is justified because extraordinary evidence indicates that it is effective, although this may not apply to every case. CAR-T therapy for myeloma is currently undergoing rapid, wide-scale growth both in academia and in industry-sponsored clinical development.

Friedman KM, Garrett TE, Evans JW, et al.
Effective Targeting of Multiple B-Cell Maturation Antigen-Expressing Hematological Malignances by Anti-B-Cell Maturation Antigen Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells.
Hum Gene Ther. 2018; 29(5):585-601 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) expression has been proposed as a marker for the identification of malignant plasma cells in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Nearly all MM tumor cells express BCMA, while normal tissue expression is restricted to plasma cells and a subset of mature B cells. Consistent BCMA expression was confirmed on MM biopsies (29/29 BCMA+), and it was further demonstrated that BCMA is expressed in a substantial number of lymphoma samples, as well as primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells. To target BCMA using redirected autologous T cells, lentiviral vectors (LVV) encoding chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) were constructed with four unique anti-BCMA single-chain variable fragments, fused to the CD137 (4-1BB) co-stimulatory and CD3ζ signaling domains. One LVV, BB2121, was studied in detail, and BB2121 CAR-transduced T cells (bb2121) exhibited a high frequency of CAR + T cells and robust in vitro activity against MM cell lines, lymphoma cell lines, and primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia peripheral blood. Based on receptor quantification, bb2121 recognized tumor cells expressing as little as 222 BCMA molecules per cell. The in vivo pharmacology of anti-BCMA CAR T cells was studied in NSG mouse models of human MM, Burkitt lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma, where mice received a single intravenous administration of vehicle, control vector-transduced T cells, or anti-BCMA CAR-transduced T cells. In all models, the vehicle and control CAR T cells failed to inhibit tumor growth. In contrast, treatment with bb2121 resulted in rapid and sustained elimination of the tumors and 100% survival in all treatment models. Together, these data support the further development of anti-BCMA CAR T cells as a potential treatment for not only MM but also some lymphomas.

Chen KH, Wada M, Pinz KG, et al.
A compound chimeric antigen receptor strategy for targeting multiple myeloma.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(2):402-412 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current clinical outcomes using chimeric-antigen receptors (CARs) against multiple myeloma show promise in the eradication of bulk disease. However, these anti-BCMA (CD269) CARs observe relapse as a common phenomenon after treatment due to the reemergence of either antigen-positive or -negative cells. Hence, the development of improvements in CAR design to target antigen loss and increase effector cell persistency represents a critical need. Here, we report on the anti-tumor activity of a CAR T-cell possessing two complete and independent CAR receptors against the multiple myeloma antigens BCMA and CS1. We determined that the resulting compound CAR (cCAR) T-cell possesses consistent, potent and directed cytotoxicity against each target antigen population. Using multiple mouse models of myeloma and mixed cell populations, we are further able to show superior in vivo survival by directed cytotoxicity against multiple populations compared to a single-expressing CAR T-cell. These findings indicate that compound targeting of BCMA and CS1 on myeloma cells can potentially be an effective strategy for augmenting the response against myeloma bulk disease and for initiation of broader coverage CAR therapy.

Lee L, Bounds D, Paterson J, et al.
Evaluation of B cell maturation antigen as a target for antibody drug conjugate mediated cytotoxicity in multiple myeloma.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 174(6):911-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA, also termed TNFRSF17) is an attractive therapeutic target due to its restricted expression on normal and malignant plasma cells (PC). GSK2857916 (or J6M0-MMAF) is a BCMA-specific antibody conjugated to the microtubule-disrupting agent monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF) via a protease-resistant linker. To evaluate the clinical potential of this agent, tumour cells from seventy multiple myeloma (MM) patients were assessed for BCMA expression by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. All patients tested expressed BCMA, at varying levels, and both surface and intracellular expression were observed. BCMA expression is maintained through relapse, extramedullary spread and in residual disease post therapy. BCMA levels may also be prognostically useful as higher levels of BCMA were associated with poorer outcomes, even taking into account genetic risk. We observed rapid internalization of surface BCMA and newly expressed protein by 1 h, suggesting a mechanism for J6M0-MMAF activity even with low surface antigen. J6M0-MMAF mediated cytotoxicity of MM cells varied with dose and antigen levels, with clonogenic progenitors killed at lower doses than mature cells. In comparison, J6M0-MMAF killing of primary CD138(+) myeloma cells occurred with slower kinetics. Our observations support BCMA to be a promising therapeutic target in MM for novel therapies such as J6M0-MMAF.

Weniger MA, Küppers R
NF-κB deregulation in Hodgkin lymphoma.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2016; 39:32-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hodgkin and Reed/Sternberg (HRS) cells in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) show constitutive activity of both the canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathways. The central pathogenetic role of this activity is indicated from studies with HL cell lines, which undergo apoptosis upon NF-κB inhibition. Multiple factors contribute to the strong NF-κB activity of HRS cells. This includes interaction with other cells in the lymphoma microenvironment through CD30, CD40, BCMA and other receptors, but also recurrent somatic genetic lesions in various factors of the NF-κB pathway, including destructive mutations in negative regulators of NF-κB signaling (e.g. TNFAIP3, NFKBIA), and copy number gains of genes encoding positive regulators (e.g. REL, MAP3K14). In Epstein-Barr virus-positive cases of classical HL, the virus-encoded latent membrane protein 1 causes NF-κB activation by mimicking an active CD40 receptor. NF-κB activity is also seen in the tumor cells of the rare nodular lymphocyte predominant form of HL, but the causes for this activity are largely unclear.

Tai YT, Acharya C, An G, et al.
APRIL and BCMA promote human multiple myeloma growth and immunosuppression in the bone marrow microenvironment.
Blood. 2016; 127(25):3225-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here we show that overexpression or activation of B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) by its ligand, a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), promotes human multiple myeloma (MM) progression in vivo. BCMA downregulation strongly decreases viability and MM colony formation; conversely, BCMA overexpression augments MM cell growth and survival via induction of protein kinase B (AKT), MAPK, and nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling cascades. Importantly, BCMA promotes in vivo growth of xenografted MM cells harboring p53 mutation in mice. BCMA-overexpressing tumors exhibit significantly increased CD31/microvessel density and vascular endothelial growth factor compared with paired control tumors. These tumors also express increased transcripts crucial for osteoclast activation, adhesion, and angiogenesis/metastasis, as well as genes mediating immune inhibition including programmed death ligand 1, transforming growth factor β, and interleukin 10. These target genes are consistently induced by paracrine APRIL binding to BCMA on MM cells, which is blocked by an antagonistic anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody hAPRIL01A (01A). 01A is cytotoxic against MM cells even in the presence of protective bone marrow (BM) myeloid cells including osteoclasts, macrophages, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. 01A further decreases APRIL-induced adhesion and migration of MM cells via blockade of canonical and noncanonical NF-κB pathways. Moreover, 01A prevents in vivo MM cell growth within implanted human bone chips in SCID mice. Finally, the effect of 01A on MM cell viability is enhanced by lenalidomide and bortezomib. Taken together, these data delineate new molecular mechanisms of in vivo MM growth and immunosuppression critically dependent on BCMA and APRIL in the BM microenvironment, further supporting targeting this prominent pathway in MM.

Kroeger DR, Milne K, Nelson BH
Tumor-Infiltrating Plasma Cells Are Associated with Tertiary Lymphoid Structures, Cytolytic T-Cell Responses, and Superior Prognosis in Ovarian Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(12):3005-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: CD8(+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) are key mediators of antitumor immunity and are strongly associated with survival in virtually all solid tumors. However, the prognostic effect of CD8(+) TIL is markedly higher in the presence of CD20(+) B cells, suggesting that cooperative interactions between these lymphocyte subsets lead to more potent antitumor immunity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We assessed the colocalization patterns, phenotypes, and gene expression profiles of tumor-associated T- and B-lineage cells in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) by multicolor IHC, flow cytometry, and bioinformatic analysis of gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas.
RESULTS: T cells and B cells colocalized in four types of lymphoid aggregate, ranging from small, diffuse clusters to large, well-organized tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) resembling activated lymph nodes. TLS were frequently surrounded by dense infiltrates of plasma cells (PC), which comprised up to 90% of tumor stroma. PCs expressed mature, oligoclonal IgG transcripts, indicative of antigen-specific responses. PCs were associated with the highest levels of CD8(+), CD4(+), and CD20(+) TIL, as well as numerous cytotoxicity-related gene products. CD8(+) TIL carried prognostic benefit only in the presence of PCs and these other TIL subsets. PCs were independent of mutation load, BRCA1/2 status, and differentiation antigens but positively associated with cancer-testis antigens.
CONCLUSIONS: PCs are associated with the most robust, prognostically favorable CD8(+) TIL responses in HGSC. We propose that TLS facilitate coordinated antitumor responses involving the combined actions of cytolytic T cells and antibody-producing PCs. Clin Cancer Res; 22(12); 3005-15. ©2016 AACR.

Jasek M, Wagner M, Sobczynski M, et al.
Polymorphisms in genes of the BAFF/APRIL system may constitute risk factors of B-CLL--a preliminary study on a Polish population.
Tissue Antigens. 2015; 86(4):279-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
The association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of B-cell activating factor (BAFF)/a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) system with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) have been suggested, therefore, we investigated 20 SNPs of BAFF, APRIL, BAFF-R, transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin-ligand interactor (TACI), B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) genes and the risk and outcome of B-CLL in 187 patients and 296 healthy subjects as well as ligand-receptor gene × gene interactions. Although the obtained P-values for all 20 SNPs did not reach statistical significance for this study (α = 0.003), the high value of the global chi-squared statistic (χ(2) df = 38  = 52.65; P = 0.0586), and obtained values of odds ratio indicate that rs9514828 (BAFF), rs3803800 (APRIL) and rs4985726 (TACI) may be associated with the risk of B-CLL. We observed that the B-CLL patients with the genotype rs9514828CT/rs11570136AA were diagnosed with the disease 12 years later than the whole group of patients in this study.

van Rhee F
Engineering more efficacious antibody therapy for myeloma.
Blood. 2014; 123(20):3062-3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this issue of Blood, Tai et al describe a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) for myeloma, which is both glycoengineered and conjugated to a cytotoxic agent. This mAb targets B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and has considerable preclinical activity, thus holding therapeutic promise. The outlook for myeloma patients has greatly improved over the past decade with the introduction of a number of novel agents. However, there is still a significant unmet need because many patients with gene expression profiling–defined good-risk disease eventually relapse and high-risk myeloma has poor long-term disease-free survival in the majority of patients.

Yang S, Li JY, Xu W
Role of BAFF/BAFF-R axis in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014; 91(2):113-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell activating factor (BAFF), as a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family, plays important roles in B-cell homeostasis, tolerance, and malignancy. BAFF binds to three receptors of TNF, TACI, BCMA and BAFF-receptor (BAFF-R). In particular, the BAFF/BAFF-R pathway is crucial to the survival and growth of mature normal and malignant B-cells. BAFF is displayed on the cell surface or is released in a soluble form after cleavage from the plasma membrane. BAFF-R as the main BAFF receptor is expressed mainly on B-cells. Aberrant BAFF expression was found in malignant B-cells from B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) patients, which protects these cells from spontaneous or drug-induced apoptosis and stimulated NF-κB activation via autocrine and/or paracrine pathways. However, the mechanisms involved in the gene expression and regulation of BAFF or BAFF-R has not been elucidated. More importantly, the design of reagents able to counteract BAFF/BAFF-R pathways may be of therapeutic value for B-NHL. Results of ongoing clinical trials with BAFF or BAFF-R antagonists are eagerly awaited.

Pelekanou V, Notas G, Kampa M, et al.
BAFF, APRIL, TWEAK, BCMA, TACI and Fn14 proteins are related to human glioma tumor grade: immunohistochemistry and public microarray data meta-analysis.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gliomas are common and lethal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). Genetic alterations, inflammatory and angiogenic processes have been identified throughout tumor progression; however, treatment still remains palliative for most cases. Biological research on parameters influencing cell survival, invasion and tumor heterogeneity identified several cytokines interfering in CNS inflammation, oxidative stress and malignant transformation, including TNF-superfamily (TNFSF) members. In this report we performed a meta-analysis of public gene-array data on the expression of a group of TNFSF ligands (BAFF, APRIL, TWEAK) and their receptors (BAFF-R, TACI, BCMA, Fn14) in gliomas. In addition, we investigated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) the tumor cells' expression of these ligands and receptors in a series of 56 gliomas of different grade. We show that in IHC, BAFF and APRIL as well as their cognate receptors (BCMA, TACI) and Fn14 expression correlate with tumor grade. This result was not evidenced in micro-arrays meta-analysis. Finally, we detected for the first time Fn14, BAFF, BCMA and TACI in glioma-related vascular endothelium. Our data, combined with our previous report in glioma cell lines, suggest a role for these receptors and ligands in glioma biology and advance these molecules as potential markers for the classification of these tumors to the proliferative, angiogenic or stem-like molecular subtype.

Liu ZY, Li JM
[Research progress on B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 and its relationship with the development of lymphoma].
Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2013; 21(6):1623-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many studies show that as a transcription factor, B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp 1) is the master regulator of plasma-cell differentiation. The abnormality of Blimp 1 plays an important part in the genesis and development of lymphoma. This review introduces and summarizes Blimp 1's protein structure and functions, its role in B cell differentiation, its main target genes and the mechanism of its transcriptional repressor activity. Besides, the relationship between Blimp 1 gene mutation or Blimp 1 protein expression reduction and the development of DLBCL is preliminary summaried.

Ferrer G, Bosch R, Hodgson K, et al.
B cell activation through CD40 and IL4R ligation modulates the response of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells to BAFF and APRIL.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 164(4):570-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The two tumour necrosis factor family proteins BAFF (TNFSF13B) and APRIL (TNFSF13) and their receptors [BAFF-R (TNFRSF13C), TACI (TNFRSF13B), BCMA (TNFRSF17)] play a critical role in the survival of normal B cells. The sensitivity of normal B cells to BAFF and APRIL can be modulated by signals regulated by their receptors. This modulation, however, has not been extensively investigated in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells. We evaluated the expression, regulation and signalling of BAFF and APRIL receptors in normal and in CLL cells upon stimulation through CD40+IL4R and BCR. We further analysed the prognostic value of BAFF and APRIL receptors expression in patients with CLL. BCMA expression was significantly higher on CLL cells than on normal B cells. BCR and CD40+IL4R stimulation promoted an increase in TACI and BCMA expression, cell viability and activation in normal B cells. A similar effect was observed in CLL cells after CD40+IL4R but not BCR stimulation. BCMA expression correlated with unmutated IGHV genes, poor-risk cytogenetics, and short progression-free survival. These findings further characterize the link between CD40+IL4R regulatory signals, BAFF, APRIL and their receptors and the survival of leukaemic cells and clinical features of CLL.

Secreto F, Manske M, Price-Troska T, et al.
B-cell activating factor-receptor specific activation of tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 and the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase pathway in lymphoma B cells.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(8):1884-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-cell activating factor-receptor (BAFF-R) is the primary BAFF receptor that is responsible for promoting B-cell development and survival. Malignant B-cells exploit the BAFF/BAFF-R system, and high serum BAFF levels or genetic alterations in BAFF receptors have been found in B-cell cancers. BAFF signaling impacts pro-survival pathways. However, other than nuclear factor-κB2 (NF-κB2), little is known about the specific pathways activated by individual BAFF receptors. Using a novel BAFF-R expression model we have demonstrated that activation of BAFF-R, independent of transmembrane activator and cytophilin ligand interactor (TACI) and B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), can induce phosphorylation of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Expression of an activated form of BAFF-R also enhanced a pro-survival gene expression pattern, including the novel BAFF-regulated gene Pin1, whose expression was phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent. Additionally, we showed that TRAF6 is essential for mediating BAFF-R dependent activation of Akt. Together these data describe a novel role for TRAF6 in BAFF-R-specific activation of the PI3K pathway and provide evidence suggesting a new role for Pin1 in BAFF-R signaling.

Yau C, Sninsky J, Kwok S, et al.
An optimized five-gene multi-platform predictor of hormone receptor negative and triple negative breast cancer metastatic risk.
Breast Cancer Res. 2013; 15(5):R103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Outcome predictors in use today are prognostic only for hormone receptor-positive (HRpos) breast cancer. Although microarray-derived multigene predictors of hormone receptor-negative (HRneg) and/or triple negative (Tneg) breast cancer recurrence risk are emerging, to date none have been transferred to clinically suitable assay platforms (for example, RT-PCR) or validated against formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) HRneg/Tneg samples.
METHODS: Multiplexed RT-PCR was used to assay two microarray-derived HRneg/Tneg prognostic signatures IR-7 and Buck-4) in a pooled FFPE collection of 139 chemotherapy-naïve HRneg breast cancers. The prognostic value of the RTPCR measured gene signatures were evaluated as continuous and dichotomous variables, and in conditional risk models incorporating clinical parameters. An optimized five-gene index was derived by evaluating gene combinations from both signatures.
RESULTS: RT-PCR measured IR-7 and Buck-4 signatures proved prognostic as continuous variables; and conditional risk modeling chose nodal status, the IR-7 signature, and tumor grade as significant predictors of distant recurrence (DR). From the Buck-4 and IR-7 signatures, an optimized five-gene (TNFRSF17, CLIC5, HLA-F, CXCL13, XCL2) predictor was generated, referred to as the Integrated Cytokine Score (ICS) based on its functional pathway linkage through interferon-γ and IL-10. Across all FFPE cases, the ICS was prognostic as either a continuous or dichotomous variable, and conditional risk modeling selected nodal status and ICS as DR predictors. Further dichotomization of node-negative/ICS-low FFPE cases identified a subset of low-grade HRneg tumors with <10% 5-year DR risk. The prognostic value of ICS was reaffirmed in two previously studied microarray assayed cohorts containing 274 node-negative and chemotherapy naive HRneg breast cancers, including 95 Tneg cases where it proved prognostically independent of Tneg molecular subtyping. In additional HRneg/Tneg microarray assayed cohorts, the five-gene ICS also proved prognostic irrespective of primary tumor nodal status and adjuvant chemotherapy intervention.
CONCLUSION: We advanced the measurement of two previously reported microarray-derived HRneg/Tneg breast cancer prognostic signatures for use in FFPE samples, and derived an optimized five-gene Integrated Cytokine Score (ICS) with multi-platform capability of predicting metastatic outcome from primary HRneg/Tneg tumors independent of nodal status, adjuvant chemotherapy use, and Tneg molecular subtype.

Sun B, Wu Y, Wu L, et al.
Raised expression of APRIL in Chinese children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its clinical implications.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2014; 36(4):276-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study was to determine the expression of a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and its receptors, B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interactor in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The correlation between the plasma APRIL levels and clinical status was also evaluated. Plasma samples from 20 untreated children with ALL, 23 children with ALL in remission, and 15 normal controls were assayed for APRIL plasma concentration by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine the mRNA expression of APRIL and its receptors in blood mononuclear cells in 20 untreated ALL children and 15 normal controls. The untreated ALL patients had higher plasma APRIL levels than the remission group and the normal controls (P<0.001, respectively). No significant difference was found between the remission group and the normal controls in the plasma APRIL levels (P=0.339). The plasma APRIL levels in the untreated patients correlated with white blood cell count at diagnosis (P=0.002) and risk category (P=0.013). The mRNA expression of both APRIL and BCMA in blood mononuclear cells of the ALL patients were higher than those of the normal controls (both P<0.001). No significant difference was found between the patients and the normal controls in the transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interactor expression (P>0.05). These findings indicate that APRIL and BCMA are over expressed in untreated ALL children. The levels of APRIL correlate with the progression of childhood ALL, which may provide certain clues for monitoring ALL clinically.

Carpenter RO, Evbuomwan MO, Pittaluga S, et al.
B-cell maturation antigen is a promising target for adoptive T-cell therapy of multiple myeloma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(8):2048-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Multiple myeloma is a usually incurable malignancy of plasma cells. New therapies are urgently needed for multiple myeloma. Adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing T cells is a promising new therapy for hematologic malignancies, but an ideal target antigen for CAR-expressing T-cell therapies for multiple myeloma has not been identified. B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is a protein that has been reported to be selectively expressed by B-lineage cells including multiple myeloma cells. Our goal was to determine if BCMA is a suitable target for CAR-expressing T cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We conducted an assessment of BCMA expression in normal human tissues and multiple myeloma cells by flow cytometry, quantitative PCR, and immunohistochemistry. We designed and tested novel anti-BCMA CARs.
RESULTS: BCMA had a restricted RNA expression pattern. Except for expression in plasma cells, BCMA protein was not detected in normal human tissues. BCMA was not detected on primary human CD34(+) hematopoietic cells. We detected uniform BCMA cell-surface expression on primary multiple myeloma cells from five of five patients. We designed the first anti-BCMA CARs to be reported and we transduced T cells with lentiviral vectors encoding these CARs. The CARs gave T cells the ability to specifically recognize BCMA. The anti-BCMA-CAR-transduced T cells exhibited BCMA-specific functions including cytokine production, proliferation, cytotoxicity, and in vivo tumor eradication. Importantly, anti-BCMA-CAR-transduced T cells recognized and killed primary multiple myeloma cells.
CONCLUSIONS: BCMA is a suitable target for CAR-expressing T cells, and adoptive transfer of anti-BCMA-CAR-expressing T cells is a promising new strategy for treating multiple myeloma.

Zhai K, Chang J, Wu C, et al.
Association between genetic variations in tumor necrosis factor receptor genes and survival of patients with T-cell lymphoma.
Chin J Cancer. 2012; 31(7):335-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The prognosis of T-cell lymphoma (TCL) has been shown to be associated with the clinical characteristics of patients. However, there is little knowledge of whether genetic variations also affect the prognosis of TCL. This study investigated the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily(TNFRSF) genes and the survival of patients with TCL. A total of 38 tag SNPs in 18 TNFRSF genes were genotyped using Sequenom platform in 150 patients with TCL. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were plotted and significance was assessed using log-rank tests. Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyze each of these 38 SNPs with adjustment for covariates that might influence patient survival, including sex and international prognostic Index score. Hazard ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals(CIs) were calculated. Among the 38 SNPs tested, 3 were significantly associated with the survival of patients with TCL. These SNPs were located at LTβR (rs3759333C>T) and TNFRSF17(rs2017662C>T and rs2071336C>T). The 5-year survival rates were significantly different among patients carrying different genotypes and the HRs for death between the different genotypes ranged from 0.45 to 2.46. These findings suggest that the SNPs in TNFRSF genes might be important determinants for the survival of TCL patients.

Cols M, Barra CM, He B, et al.
Stromal endothelial cells establish a bidirectional crosstalk with chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells through the TNF-related factors BAFF, APRIL, and CD40L.
J Immunol. 2012; 188(12):6071-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a clonal B cell disorder of unknown origin. Accessory signals from the microenvironment are critical for the survival, expansion, and progression of malignant B cells. We found that the CLL stroma included microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs) expressing BAFF and APRIL, two TNF family members related to the T cell-associated B cell-stimulating molecule CD40L. Constitutive release of soluble BAFF and APRIL increased upon engagement of CD40 on MVECs by CD40L aberrantly expressed on CLL cells. In addition to enhancing MVEC expression of CD40, leukemic CD40L induced cleavases that elicited intracellular processing of pro-BAFF and pro-APRIL proteins in MVECs. The resulting soluble BAFF and APRIL proteins delivered survival, activation, Ig gene remodeling, and differentiation signals by stimulating CLL cells through TACI, BAFF-R, and BCMA receptors. BAFF and APRIL further amplified CLL cell survival by upregulating the expression of leukemic CD40L. Inhibition of TACI, BCMA, and BAFF-R expression on CLL cells; abrogation of CD40 expression in MVECs; or suppression of BAFF and APRIL cleavases in MVECs reduced the survival and diversification of malignant B cells. These data indicate that BAFF, APRIL, and CD40L form a CLL-enhancing bidirectional signaling network linking neoplastic B cells with the microvascular stroma.

Zhu J, Sun L, Lin S, et al.
BlyS is up-regulated by hypoxia and promotes migration of human breast cancer cells.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 31:31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of B Lymphocyte Stimulator (BLyS) in the survival of malignant B cells and the maintenance of normal B cell development and homeostasis has been intensively studied in the literature. However, the influence of BLyS on breast cancer progression remains unclear. The study aimed to investigate the effect of hypoxia on BLyS regulation, cell migratory response to BLyS and the possible molecular mechanisms.
METHODS: In this study, we examined the role of BLyS in the migration of human breast cancer cells by transwell assay. We also explored whether BLyS and its receptors expressed in human breast cancer cell lines by immunofluorescence and Western Blotting. Then we detected the expression level of BLyS in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions by real time-PCR and Western Blotting. Pathways involved were confirmed by Western Blotting, immunofluorescence, transwell assay and luciferase assay.
RESULTS: According to our study, the expression level of BlyS was increased in human breast cancer cell lines in hypoxic conditions. Up-regulation of this protein led to activation and nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B p65. We also found that the number of migrated cells was increased in the presence of BLyS and inhibition of phosphorylation of Akt attenuated the enhanced migratory response.
CONCLUSIONS: It suggested that better understanding of BLyS, an immunopotentiator, may offer a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of human breast cancers. In addition, BLyS promoted breast cancer cells migration, underscoring the necessity of appropriate applications of immunopotentiators to cancer treatment.

Chae SC, Yu JI, Uhm TB, et al.
The haplotypes of TNFRSF17 polymorphisms are associated with colon cancer in a Korean population.
Int J Colorectal Dis. 2012; 27(6):701-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We previously found that the haplotypes of TNFRSF17 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with the susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease on Korean population. The present study aimed to investigate whether the polymorphisms in the TNFRSF17 gene are associated with susceptibility to colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: Genotype analysis in the TNFRSF17 SNPs was performed by high-resolution melting and TaqMan probe analysis, and the genotype and allele frequencies of TNFRSF17 SNPs were compared between the CRC patients and the healthy controls. The haplotype frequencies of TNFRSF17 for multiple loci were estimated using the expectation maximization algorithm.
RESULTS: Although, the genotype and allelic frequencies of these SNPs, in the colon cancer and rectal cancer patients, were not significantly different from those in the healthy controls, the genotype and allele frequency of g.2493G>A was significantly different between the healthy controls and the right colon cancer patients (P = 0.014 and 0.004, respectively). Moreover, the haplotypes frequencies in the healthy controls were significantly different from those in the colon cancer patients.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that TNFRSF17 may be a candidate gene associated with the pathogenesis of colon cancer, and the haplotypes of the TNFRSF17 polymorphisms might be one of the markers for colon cancer susceptibility.

Rickert RC, Jellusova J, Miletic AV
Signaling by the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily in B-cell biology and disease.
Immunol Rev. 2011; 244(1):115-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) participate prominently in B-cell maturation and function. In particular, B-cell activating factor belonging to the TNF family receptor (BAFF-R), B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), and transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) play critical roles in promoting B-cell survival at distinct stages of development by engaging a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and/or BAFF. CD40 is also essential for directing the humoral response to T-cell-dependent antigens. Signaling by the TNFRSF is mediated primarily, albeit not exclusively, via the TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) proteins and activation of the canonical and/or non-canonical nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathways. Dysregulated signaling by TNFRSF members can promote B-cell survival and proliferation, causing autoimmunity and neoplasia. In this review, we present a current understanding of the functions of and distinctions between APRIL/BAFF signaling by their respective receptors expressed on particular B-cell subsets. These findings are compared and contrasted with CD40 signaling, which employs similar signaling conduits to achieve distinct cellular outcomes in the context of the germinal center response. We also underscore how new findings and conceptual insights into TNFRSF signaling are facilitating the understanding of B-cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases.

Shen X, Zhang X, Xu G, Ju S
BAFF-R gene induced by IFN-γ in multiple myeloma cells is related to NF-κB signals.
Cell Biochem Funct. 2011; 29(6):513-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a potent cell-survival factor expressed in many haematopoietic cells. BAFF regulates B-cell survival, differentiation and proliferation by binding to three tumour necrosis factor receptors: transmembrane activator, calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor; B-cell maturation antigen; and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R). Although BAFF-R is produced by interferon gamma (IFN-γ), the underlying mechanism remains elusive. In this study, we examined the effects of IFN-γ on BAFF-R expression in cultured human multiple myeloma cells (KM3) both at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Incubation of KM3 cells with IFN-γ elevated the expression of BAFF-R mRNA and protein levels. IFN-γ elicited marked enhancement of the human BAFF-R promoter activity and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) DNA binding activity. NF-κB dependent on the human BAFF-R gene might be regulated via a transcriptional event through one putative NF-κB site on the BAFF-R gene promoter. These results provide a molecular mechanism for the increase in expression of the BAFF-R gene that is induced by proinflammatory cytokines in responsive cells.

Maia S, Pelletier M, Ding J, et al.
Aberrant expression of functional BAFF-system receptors by malignant B-cell precursors impacts leukemia cell survival.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(6):e20787 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite exhibiting oncogenic events, patient's leukemia cells are responsive and dependent on signals from their malignant bone marrow (BM) microenvironment, which modulate their survival, cell cycle progression, trafficking and resistance to chemotherapy. Identification of the signaling pathways mediating this leukemia/microenvironment interplay is critical for the development of novel molecular targeted therapies.We observed that primary leukemia B-cell precursors aberrantly express receptors of the BAFF-system, BAFF-R, BCMA, and TACI. These receptors are functional as their ligation triggers activation of NF-κB, MAPK/JNK, and Akt signaling. Leukemia cells express surface BAFF and APRIL ligands, and soluble BAFF is significantly higher in leukemia patients in comparison to age-matched controls. Interestingly, leukemia cells also express surface APRIL, which seems to be encoded by APRIL-δ, a novel isoform that lacks the furin convertase domain. Importantly, we observed BM microenvironmental cells express the ligands BAFF and APRIL, including surface and secreted BAFF by BM endothelial cells. Functional studies showed that signals through BAFF-system receptors impact the survival and basal proliferation of leukemia B-cell precursors, and support the involvement of both homotypic and heterotypic mechanisms.This study shows an unforeseen role for the BAFF-system in the biology of precursor B-cell leukemia, and suggests that the target disruption of BAFF signals may constitute a valid strategy for the treatment of this cancer.

Shen X, Zhu W, Zhang X, et al.
A role of both NF-κB pathways in expression and transcription regulation of BAFF-R gene in multiple myeloma cells.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2011; 357(1-2):21-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-lymphocyte stimulator (BAFF) is a recently recognized member of the tumor necrosis factor ligand family (TNF) and a potent cell-survival factor expressed in many hematopoietic cells. BAFF regulates B-cell survival, differentiation, and proliferation by binding to three TNF receptors: TACI, BCMA, and BAFF-R. The mechanism involved in BAFF-R gene expression and regulation remains elusive. In this study, we examined BAFF-R gene expression, function, and regulation in multiple myeloma (KM3) cells. It was found that BAFF-BAFF-R induced cell survival by activating NF-κB1 pathway and NF-κB2 pathway. It was also found that NF-κB was an important transcription factor involved in regulating BAFF-R expression through one NF-κB binding site in the BAFF-R promoter, suggesting that inhibiting NF-κB could decrease the expression of BAFF-R mRNA and protein, and promote activity of BAFF-R gene. Our findings indicate that both NF-κB pathways are involved in the regulation of BAFF-R gene and the NF-κB-binding site of BAFF-R may be a new therapeutic target in this disease.

Pelekanou V, Notas G, Theodoropoulou K, et al.
Detection of the TNFSF members BAFF, APRIL, TWEAK and their receptors in normal kidney and renal cell carcinomas.
Anal Cell Pathol (Amst). 2011; 34(1-2):49-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), surgery combined with systemic chemotherapy and immunotherapy have had limited effectiveness. Therapeutic modalities targeting VEGF, PDGF, and c-kit using tyrosine kinase inhibitors and m-TOR using specific biologic factors are in development. Therapeutic approaches targeting TNF-alpha have shown limited efficacy, while anti-TRAIL (TNFSF10) antibodies have shown enhanced activity. The presence and potential significance of other members of the TNFSF has not been investigated. Here, we assayed the TNFSF members APRIL, BAFF, TWEAK and their receptors (BCMA, TACI, BAFFR, Fn14) in 86 conventional type clear cell RCC, using immunohistochemistry and correlated our findings with histological data and, in a limited series, follow-up of patients. We observed a differential expression of these TNFSF ligands and receptors in cancerous and non-cancerous structures. BAFF was found in all RCC; APRIL expression is associated with an aggressive phenotype, correlating negatively with patients' disease-free survival, while TWEAK and its receptor Fn14 are heterogeneously expressed, correlating negatively with the grade and survival of RCC patients. This is the first study, presenting together the TNFSF members APRIL, BAFF, TWEAK and their receptors in different areas of normal renal tissue and RCC, suggesting a potential role of these TNFSF members in renal tumor biology.

Yurchenko M, Sidorenko SP
Hodgkin's lymphoma: the role of cell surface receptors in regulation of tumor cell fate.
Exp Oncol. 2010; 32(4):214-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The hallmark of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) are mononucleated Hodgkin's cells and multinucleated Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, which usually account for only about 1% of cells in the tumor tissue. The majority of HRS cells in classical HL are derived from germinal centre B cells that have acquired disadvantageous Ig variable chain gene mutations and escaped from apoptosis. Due to reprogramming of gene expression, these lymphoma cells have lost the expression of most B-cell specific genes and acquired expression of multiple genes that are typical for other hematopoietic cells. HRS cells attract various cells of immune system into lymphoma tissue resulting in an inflammatory microenvironment. Moreover, HRS cells are dependent on microenvironment, especially on survival signals from other cells. Despite the loss of BCR - the master-regulator of B cell fate, HRS cells express a number of receptors that regulate tumor cell survival. The rescue of HRS cells from apoptosis is a key event in HL pathogenesis. These cells express at least six receptors that belong to TNF receptor family: CD30, CD40, CD95, TACI, BCMA and RANK, co-stimulatory receptors CD80 and CD86, and E-selectins ligand CD15. Due to the mutations in genes encoding proteins of CD95-mediated apoptotic signaling pathway, it is not functional in HRS cells. Ligands of TNF family receptors on cells in HL microenvironment contribute to the activation of canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathways and survival program of HRS cells. Moreover, in HRS cells a number of multiple mutations in negative NF-κB regulators, and also gains and amplifications of positive regulators, cooperate in deregulating these pathways. All TNF receptors may be linked to the activation of prosurvival gene expression programs via Akt and ERK pathways. HRS cells also express CD150 receptor with specific ITSM motifs in the cytoplasmic tail. Ligation of this receptor on HRS cells induced activation of Akt and ERK pathways, and moreover, it triggered activation of JNK signaling cascade.
CONCLUSION: The review presents the current views on the role of cell surface receptors in maintenance of HL microenvironment favorable for HRS cells survival.

Palamarchuk A, Efanov A, Nazaryan N, et al.
13q14 deletions in CLL involve cooperating tumor suppressors.
Blood. 2010; 115(19):3916-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common human leukemia. 13q14 deletions are most common chromosomal alterations in CLL. We previously reported that miR-15/16 is a target of 13q14 deletions and plays a tumor suppressor role by targeting BCL2. Because DLEU7 is located near miR-15/16 and is also positioned within a minimal deleted region, we investigated whether DLEU7 could also play a tumor suppressor role. Recent studies of transgenic mouse models demonstrated the importance of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway in CLL. To examine the possible role of DLEU7 in CLL, we investigated the effect of DLEU7 expression on NF-kappaB and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) activity. We found that DLEU7 functions as a potent NF-kappaB and NFAT inhibitor by physically interacting and inhibiting TACI and BCMA, members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family involved in B-CLL. In addition, DLEU7 expression in A549 lung cancer cells resulted in a decrease in S phase and increased apoptosis. The results suggest that loss of DLEU7 may cooperate with the loss of miR-15/16 in the pathogenesis of CLL.

Cassinelli G, Ronchetti D, Laccabue D, et al.
Concomitant downregulation of proliferation/survival pathways dependent on FGF-R3, JAK2 and BCMA in human multiple myeloma cells by multi-kinase targeting.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2009; 78(9):1139-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
The identification of proliferation/survival pathways constitutively activated by genetic alterations in multiple myeloma (MM), or sustained by the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment, provides novel opportunities for the development of targeted therapies. The deregulated function of protein tyrosine kinases plays a critical role in driving MM malignant phenotype. We investigated the effects of the multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor RPI-1 in a panel of human MM cell lines, including t(4;14) positive cell lines expressing the TK receptor FGF-R3. Cells harboring FGF-R3 activating mutations (KMS11 and OPM2) displayed the highest sensitivity to RPI-1 antiproliferative effect. The stimulating effect of the aFGF ligand was abrogated in cells harboring a non-constitutively active receptor. Drug treatment inhibited activation and expression of the FGF-R3(Y373C) mutant as well as aFGF-dependent signaling involving AKT and ERKs. Inhibition of JAK2, an additional RPI-1 target, resulted in STAT3 inactivation. Blockade of these proliferation/survival pathways was associated with caspase-dependent apoptosis. Moreover, drug treatment abrogated proliferative and pro-invasive stimuli provided by conditioned medium from mesenchymal stromal cells. Gene expression profile of KMS11 cells showed 22 upregulated and 52 downregulated genes upon RPI-1 treatment, with an early modulation of genes implicated in MM pathobiology such as SAT-1, MYC, MIP-1alpha/beta, FGF-R3, and the growth factor receptor B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). Thus, concomitant blockade of FGF-R3 and JAK2 results in inhibition of several MM-promoting pathways, including BCMA-regulated signaling, and downregulation of disease-associated proteins. These data may have therapeutic implications in the design of treatment strategies resulting in the concomitant inhibition of FGF-R3 and JAK2 signaling pathways in t(4;14) MM.

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