Growth and Survival Pathways in Normal and Malignant B-Lymphocytes
Normal B lymphocytes require extrinsic factors to grow and proliferate. Surface receptors (e.g., B-cell antigen receptor, BCR) function, in part, to link growth factors to signal transduction/metabolic pathways and the cell cycle machinery. Accumulating evidence indicates that signal transduction-dependent changes in both glucose energy metabolism and de novo transcription of the D-type cyclin-cdk4/6 pathway are necessary for quiescent B-lymphocytes to enter G1-phase of the cell cycle and grow. B cell growth represents a critical checkpoint for subsequent proliferation and clonal expansion of antigen-specific lymphocytes. On the former, we have shown earlier that acquisition of extracellular glucose and metabolism via the glycolytic pathway is required for conventional splenic B-2 lymphocytes to grow (i.e., increase cell size and mass) in response to antigen challenge; however, the metabolic fate and biological significance of glucose-derived carbons are unknown. Here, we show that in response to BCR ligation, glucose carbon flow is directed into a de novo lipogenic pathway that is regulated, in part, via phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K)-dependent activation of ATP citrate lyase (ACL), a key rate-limiting enzyme in de novo lipogenesis. Inhibition of ACL results in a loss of B-cell growth and cell viability. Regarding the latter point, the B-1a lymphocyte subset expresses cyclins D2 and D3 that are transiently expressed in a non-overlapping manner, notably cyclin D3 expression immediately precedes the G1/S phase transition, suggesting distinct functions for these D-type cyclins in B-1a lymphocyte G0-to-S phase progression. We show herein that murine B-1a cells deficient in cyclin D3 proliferate normally in response to extracellular stimuli, in part, due to a compensatory sustained up-regulation of cyclin D2. In keeping with this, human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) represents a malignant clonal expansion of B cells characterized by several subsets, including germinal center (GC) and activated B-cell (ABC) types. Here, we show that the GC-type LY18 human DLBCL exhibits constitutive expression of cyclin D3, but not cyclins D1 and D2. Targeting of cyclin D3-holoenzyme complexes with cell permeable chemical- and peptide-based cdk4 inhibitors results in G1-phase arrest and apoptosis via a pathway that involves inhibition of pRb phosphorylation. By contrast, endogenous knock down of cyclin D3 with siRNA did not induce growth arrest or apoptosis, in part, due to redundancy with cyclin E.