14-3-3zeta mediates resistance of diffuse large B cell lymphoma to an anthracycline-based chemotherapeutic regimen. Academic Article uri icon


  • Patients presenting with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are treated with a standard anthracycline-based chemotherapeutic mixture consisting of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP). Half of DLBCL patients will develop chemo-refractory tumors due to the emergence of CHOP-resistant DLBCL cells. We isolated DLBCL cells that were resistant to CHOP as a model system to investigate the molecular basis of CHOP resistance. Resistant cells emerged from CHOP-sensitive DLBCL populations after repeated cycles of on-off exposure to stepwise increased dosages of CHOP. A proteomic analysis of CHOP-sensitive and -resistant DLBCL cells identified the zeta isoform of the 14-3-3 family as a differentially expressed protein. CHOP-sensitive cells showed reduced expression of 14-3-3zeta protein in the presence of high-dose CHOP relative to control cells. In contrast, CHOP-resistant cells expressed markedly higher levels of 14-3-3zeta regardless the presence of high-dose CHOP. Because 14-3-3zeta is known to exert anti-apoptotic influences and chemoresistance in lung, colon, and prostate carcinoma, we hypothesized that 14-3-3zeta promotes survival of DLBCL cells in CHOP. In support of our hypothesis, knockdown of 14-3-3zeta by small interfering RNA restored the sensitivity of resistant DLBCL to CHOP-induce apoptosis. In addition, 14-3-3zeta expression was highly up-regulated in a resected DLBCL lymph node relative to a normal lymph node by Western blot analysis. Furthermore, more than half of 35 DLBCL tissues showed elevated 14-3-3zeta expression relative to normal lymph tissue by immunohistochemical analysis. Our study implicates 14-3-3zeta in the pathogenesis of DLBCL and suggests a promising combination strategy with a 14-3-3 inhibitor for the treatment of refractory DLBCL.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Maxwell, S. A., Li, Z., Jaya, D., Ballard, S., Ferrell, J., & Fu, H

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Maxwell, Steve A||Li, Zenggang||Jaya, David||Ballard, Scott||Ferrell, Jay||Fu, Haian

publication date

  • June 2009