• The constitutive activation of the DNA damage response pathway is a novel therapeutic target in aggressive B-cell lymphoma
  • Derenzini, Enrico <1978>


  • MED/08 Anatomia patologica


  • The recent finding that MYC-driven cancers are sensitive to inhibition of the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, prompted us to investigate the role of DDR pathway as therapeutic target in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which frequently overexpresses the MYC oncogene. In a preliminary immunohistochemical study conducted on 99 consecutive DLBCL patients, we found that about half of DLBCLs showed constitutive expression of the phosphorylated forms of checkpoint kinases (CHK) and CDC25c, markers of DDR activation, and of phosphorylated histone H2AX (γH2AX), marker of DNA damage and genomic instability. Constitutive γH2AX expression correlated with c-MYC levels and DDR activation, and defined a subset of tumors characterised by poor outcome. Next, we used the CHK inhibitor PF-0477736 as a tool to investigate whether the inhibition of the DDR pathway might represent a novel therapeutic approach in DLBCL. Submicromolar concentrations of PF-0477736 hindered proliferation in DLBCL cell lines with activated DDR pathway. These results were fully recapitulated with a different CHK inhibitor (AZD-7762). Inhibition of checkpoint kinases induced rapid DNA damage accumulation and apoptosis in DLBCL cell lines and primary cells. These data suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of DDR through targeting of CHK kinases may represent a novel therapeutic strategy in DLBCL. The second part of this work is the clinical, molecular and functional description of a paradigmatic case of primary refractory Burkitt lymphoma characterized by spatial intratumor heterogeneity for the TP53 mutational status, high expression levels of genomic instability and DDR activation markers, primary resistance to chemotherapy and exquisite sensitivity to DDR inhibitors.


  • 2015-01-22


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Derenzini, Enrico (2015) The constitutive activation of the DNA damage response pathway is a novel therapeutic target in aggressive B-cell lymphoma, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6752.