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BACKGROUND: The aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) are characterised by a high proliferation rate. The anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) and its co-activators Cdc20 and Cdh1 represent an important checkpoint in mitosis. Here, the role of the APC/C and its co-activators is examined in DLBCL and MCL.
METHODS: The expression and prognostic value of Cdc20 and Cdh1 was investigated using GEP data and immunohistochemistry. Moreover, the therapeutic potential of APC/C targeting was evaluated using the small-molecule inhibitor proTAME and the underlying mechanisms of action were investigated by western blot.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that Cdc20 is highly expressed in DLBCL and aggressive MCL, correlating with a poor prognosis in DLBCL. ProTAME induced a prolonged metaphase, resulting in accumulation of the APC/C-Cdc20 substrate cyclin B1, inactivation/degradation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL and caspase-dependent apoptosis. In addition, proTAME strongly enhanced the anti-lymphoma effect of the clinically relevant agents doxorubicin and venetoclax.
CONCLUSION: We identified for the first time APC/C as a new, promising target in DLBCL and MCL. Moreover, we provide evidence that Cdc20 might be a novel, independent prognostic factor in DLBCL and MCL.