Background: The analysis of cellular networks and pathways involved in oncogenesis has increased our knowledge about the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie tumour biology and has unmasked new molecular targets that may lead to the design of better anti-cancer therapies. Recently, using a high resolution loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis, we identified a number of potential tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) within common LOH regions across cases suffering from two of the most common forms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), Follicular Lymphoma (FL) and Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL). From these studies LOH of the protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type J (PTPRJ) gene was identified as a common event in the lymphomagenesis of these B-cell lymphomas. The present study aimed to determine the cellular pathways affected by the inactivation of these TSGs including PTPRJ in FL and DLBCL tumourigenesis.Results: Pathway analytical approaches identified that candidate TSGs located within common LOH regions participate within cellular pathways, which may play a crucial role in FL and DLBCL lymphomagenesis (i.e., metabolic pathways). These analyses also identified genes within the interactome of PTPRJ (i.e. PTPN11 and B2M) that when inactivated in NHL may play an important role in tumourigenesis. We also detected genes that are differentially expressed in cases with and without LOH of PTPRJ, such as NFATC3 (nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 3). Moreover, upregulation of the VEGF, MAPK and ERBB signalling pathways was also observed in NHL cases with LOH of PTPRJ, indicating that LOH-driving events causing inactivation of PTPRJ, apart from possibly inducing a constitutive activation of these pathways by reduction or abrogation of its dephosphorylation activity, may also induce upregulation of these pathways when inactivated. This finding implicates these pathways in the lymphomagenesis and progression of FL and DLBCL.Conclusions: The evidence obtained in this research supports findings suggesting that FL and DLBCL share common pathogenic mechanisms. Also, it indicates that PTPRJ can play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of these B-cell tumours and suggests that activation of PTPRJ might be an interesting novel chemotherapeutic target for the treatment of these B-cell tumours.
- Pathway analysis