Reciprocal expression of the endocytic protein HIP1R and its repressor FOXP1 predicts outcome in R-CHOP-treated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients.
Wong KK., Gascoyne DM., Brown PJ., Soilleux EJ., Snell C., Chen H., Lyne L., Lawrie CH., Gascoyne RD., Pedersen LM., Møller MB., Pulford K., Murphy D., Green TM., Banham AH.
We previously identified autoantibodies to the endocytic-associated protein Huntingtin-interacting protein 1-related (HIP1R) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients. HIP1R regulates internalization of cell surface receptors via endocytosis, a process relevant to many therapeutic strategies including CD20 targeting with rituximab. In this study, we characterized HIP1R expression patterns, investigated a mechanism of transcriptional regulation and its clinical relevance in DLBCL patients treated with immunochemotherapy (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone, R-CHOP). HIP1R was preferentially expressed in germinal center B-cell-like DLBCL (P<0.0001) and inversely correlated with the activated B-cell-like DLBCL (ABC-DLBCL) associated transcription factor, Forkhead box P1 (FOXP1). HIP1R was confirmed as a direct FOXP1 target gene in ABC-DLBCL by FOXP1-targeted silencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Lower HIP1R protein expression (≤ 10% tumoral positivity) significantly correlated with inferior overall survival (OS, P=0.0003) and progression-free survival (PFS, P=0.0148) in R-CHOP-treated DLBCL patients (n=157). Reciprocal expression with ≥ 70% FOXP1 positivity defined FOXP1(hi)/HIP1R(lo) patients with particularly poor outcome (OS, P=0.0001; PFS, P=0.0016). In an independent R-CHOP-treated DLBCL (n=233) microarray data set, patients with transcript expression in lower quartile HIP1R and FOXP1(hi)/HIP1R(lo) subgroups exhibited worse OS, P=0.0044 and P=0.0004, respectively. HIP1R repression by FOXP1 is strongly associated with poor outcome, thus further understanding of FOXP1-HIP1R and/or endocytic signaling pathways might give rise to novel therapeutic options for DLBCL.