MORC4, a novel member of the MORC family, is highly expressed in a subset of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Liggins AP., Cooper CD., Lawrie CH., Brown PJ., Collins GP., Hatton CS., Pulford K., Banham AH.
The OX-TES-4 antigen originally elicited an antibody response in 50% of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients but not in control subjects. OX-TES-4 is encoded by a novel gene, MORC4, located at chromosome Xq22.3. The MORC4 protein contains a HATPase-c domain, CW zinc finger motif, nuclear localisation signals and a nuclear matrix-binding domain, together with a coiled-coil region. MORC4 mRNA is widely expressed at low levels in normal tissues, showing highest expression levels in placenta and testis. mRNA levels were increased in non-germinal centre-derived DLBCL and Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines, compared with germinal centre-derived DLBCL cell lines and normal B cells. Nineteen DLBCL patients (66%) expressed significantly higher levels of MORC4 mRNA than normal B cells (P = 0.0031). The differential expression of MORC4 identifies this molecule as a potential lymphoma biomarker, whose overexpression may contribute to the immunological recognition of MORC4 by a subgroup of DLBCL patients.