Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Inhibition of proliferation and survival of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells by a small-molecule inhibitor of the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc13-Uev1A

  1. Mary Pulvino1,
  2. Yue Liang1,
  3. David Oleksyn2,
  4. Michael DeRan1,
  5. Elise Van Pelt1,
  6. Joel Shapiro3,
  7. Ignacio Sanz2,
  8. Luojing Chen2, and
  9. Jiyong Zhao1
  1. 1Department of Biomedical Genetics and
  2. 2Division of Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; and
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, remains a partially curable disease. Genetic alterations affecting components of NF-κB signaling pathways occur frequently in DLBCL. Almost all activated B cell–like (ABC) DLBCL, which is the least curable group among the 3 major subtypes of this malignancy, and a substantial fraction of germinal center B cell–like (GCB) DLBCL exhibit constitutive NF-κB pathway activity. It has been demonstrated that ABC-DLBCL cells require such activity for proliferation and survival. Therefore, inhibition of NF-κB activation in DLBCL may provide an efficient and targeted therapy. In screening for small-molecule compounds that may inhibit NF-κB activation in DLBCL cells, we identified a compound, NSC697923, which inhibits the activity of the ubiquitin-conjugating (E2) enzyme Ubc13-Uev1A. NSC697923 impedes the formation of the Ubc13 and ubiquitin thioester conjugate and suppresses constitutive NF-κB activity in ABC-DLBCL cells. Importantly, NSC697923 inhibits the proliferation and survival of ABC-DLBCL cells and GCB-DLBCL cells, suggesting the Ubc13-Uev1A may be crucial for DLBCL growth. Consistently, knockdown of Ubc13 expression also inhibited DLBCL cell survival. The results of the present study indicate that Ubc13-Uev1A may represent a potential therapeutic target in DLBCL. In addition, compound NSC697923 may be exploited for the development of DLBCL therapeutic agents.

  • Submitted February 8, 2012.
  • Accepted July 2, 2012.
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