Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Programs

Pathology & Microbiology

First Advisor

Javeed Iqbal, PhD

Second Advisor

Wing C. Chan, MD

Abstract

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) comprise a heterogeneous group of mature T-cell neoplasms with a poor prognosis. Recently, mutations in TET2 and other epigenetic modifiers as well as RHOA have been identified in these diseases, particularly in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL). CD28 is the major co-stimulatory receptor in T-cells which, upon binding ligand, induces sustained T-cell proliferation and cytokine production when combined with T-cell receptor stimulation, through many signaling molecules including VAV1. This thesis identifies recurrent mutations in CD28 in PTCLs, as well as mutations in VAV1. Two residues of CD28 – D124 and T195 – were recurrently mutated in 11.3% of cases of AITL and in one case of PTCL, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS). Surface plasmon resonance analysis of mutations at these residues with predicted differential partner interactions showed increased affinity for ligand CD86 (residue D124) and increased affinity for intracellular adaptor proteins GRB2 and GADS/GRAP2 (residue T195). Molecular modeling studies on each of these mutations suggested how these mutants result in increased affinities. We found increased transcription of the CD28-responsive genes CD226 and TNFA in cells expressing the T195P mutant in response to CD3 and CD86 co-stimulation and increased downstream activation of NF-κB by both D124V and T195P mutants. VAV1 mutations affect many important domains and may also enhance co-stimulatory signal. Together, these mutations suggest a novel potential pathway for therapeutic targeting in PTCLs.

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