B-cell receptor signaling induced metabolic alterations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia can be partially bypassed by TP53 abnormalities

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Abstract

It has been unclear what role metabolism is playing in the pathophysiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). One reason is that the study of CLL metabolism is challenging due to the resting nature of circulating CLL cells. Also, it is not clear if any of the genomic aberrations observed in this disease have any impact on metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that CLL cells in proliferation centers exhibit upregulation of several molecules involved in glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism. Comparison of CXCR4/CD5 intraclonal cell subpopulations showed that these changes are paralleled by increases in the metabolic activity of the CXCR4CD5 fraction that have recently egressed from the lymph nodes. Notably, anti-IgM stimulation of CLL cells recapitulates many of these metabolic alterations, including increased glucose uptake, increased lactate production, induction of glycolytic enzymes, and increased respiratory reserve. Treatment of CLL cells with inhibitors of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling blocked these anti-IgM-induced changes in vitro, which was mirrored by decreases in hexokinase 2 expression in CLL cells from ibrutinib-treated patients Interestingly, several samples from patients with 17p-deletion manifested increased spontaneous aerobic glycolysis in the unstimulated state suggestive of a BCR-independent metabolic phenotype. We conclude that the proliferative fraction of CLL cells found in lymphoid tissues or the peripheral blood of CLL patients exhibit increased metabolic activity when compared with the bulk CLL-cell population. Although this is due to microenvironmental stimulatory signals such as BCR-engagement in most cases, increases in resting metabolic activity can be observed in cases with 17p-deletion.

Journal details

Journal HemaSphere
Volume 6
Issue number 6
Pages e722
Available online
Publication date