A mutated B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia subset that recognizes and responds to fungi.

TitleA mutated B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia subset that recognizes and responds to fungi.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHoogeboom R, van Kessel KPM, Hochstenbach F, Wormhoudt TA, Reinten RJA, Wagner K, Kater AP, Guikema JEJ, Bende RJ, van Noesel CJM
JournalThe Journal of experimental medicine
Volume210
Issue1
Pagination59-70
Date Published2013 Jan 14
Abstract

B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia in adults, is a clonal expansion of CD5(+)CD19(+) B lymphocytes. Two types of CLLs are being distinguished as carrying either unmutated or somatically mutated immunoglobulins (Igs), which are associated with unfavorable and favorable prognoses, respectively. More than 30% of CLLs can be grouped based on their expression of stereotypic B cell receptors (BCRs), strongly suggesting that distinctive antigens are involved in the development of CLL. Unmutated CLLs, carrying Ig heavy chain variable (IGHV) genes in germline configuration, express low-affinity, poly-, and self-reactive BCRs. However, the antigenic specificity of CLLs with mutated IGHV-genes (M-CLL) remained elusive. In this study, we describe a new subset of M-CLL, expressing stereotypic BCRs highly specific for β-(1,6)-glucan, a major antigenic determinant of yeasts and filamentous fungi. β-(1,6)-glucan binding depended on both the stereotypic Ig heavy and light chains, as well as on a distinct amino acid in the IGHV-CDR3. Reversion of IGHV mutations to germline configuration reduced the affinity for β-(1,6)-glucan, indicating that these BCRs are indeed affinity-selected for their cognate antigen. Moreover, CLL cells expressing these stereotypic receptors proliferate in response to β-(1,6)-glucan. This study establishes a class of common pathogens as functional ligands for a subset of somatically mutated human B cell lymphomas.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0055951
Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Med.