Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are generally aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas with poor overall survival rates following standard therapy. One-third of PTCLs express interferon regulatory factor-4 (IRF4), a tightly regulated transcription factor involved in lymphocyte growth and differentiation. IRF4 drives tumor growth in several lymphoid malignancies and has been proposed as a candidate therapeutic target. Because direct IRF4 inhibitors are not clinically available, we sought to characterize the mechanism by which IRF4 expression is regulated in PTCLs. We demonstrated that IRF4 is constitutively expressed in PTCL cells and drives Myc expression and proliferation. Using an inhibitor screen, we identified nuclear factor kB (NF-κB) as a candidate regulator of IRF4 expression and cell proliferation. We then demonstrated that the NF-κB subunits p52 and RelB were transcriptional activators of IRF4. Further analysis showed that activation of CD30 promotes p52 and RelB activity and subsequent IRF4 expression. Finally, we showed that IRF4 transcriptionally regulates CD30 expression. Taken together, these data demonstrate a novel positive feedback loop involving CD30, NF-κB, and IRF4; further evidence for this mechanism was demonstrated in human PTCL tissue samples. Accordingly, NF-κB inhibitors may represent a clinical means to disrupt this feedback loop in IRF4-positive PTCLs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology