TCL1 in B-cell tumors retains its normal B-cell pattern of regulation and is a marker of differentiation stage

Marco Herling, Kaushali A. Patel, Eric D. Hsi, Kong Chao Chang, George Z. Rassidakis, Richard Ford, Dan Jones

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The high expression of the T-cell oncogene TCL1 in B-cell tumors and the emergence of B-cell lymphomas in TCL1-transgenic mice suggest a pathogenetic role for this kinase coregulator in B-cell malignancies. We compared the expression of TCL1 in B-cell tumors with their differentiation stage. As with normal B-cell subsets, uniform TCL1 expression was characteristic of tumors of pregerminal center derivation such as precursor B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (85%, 47/55) and mantle cell lymphoma (84%, 49/58), and was more variable in follicular lymphoma (57%, 28/49). Large B-cell lymphoma was less frequently positive for TCL1 (36%, 18/50), especially among cases of the activated B-cell type. All types of Hodgkin lymphoma, splenic marginal zone lymphoma, and post-germinal center-derived tumors, including plasma cell myeloma and MALT lymphoma, were negative for TCL1, except for 1 case. In nearly all TCL1-expressing tumors, as with normal B cells, variations in cellular TCL1 levels were related to the proliferation and microenvironmental factors. In normal B cells, cell lines and primary B-cell tumor samples, TCL1 downmodulation occurred after prolonged cytokine treatment and/or B-cell receptor stimulation. In contrast to mature T-cell tumors where TCL1 expression is always indicative of an activating TCL1 gene translocation, TCL1 expression in B-cell tumors parallels its regulation in non-neoplastic B cells. Therefore, TCL1 expression can be used diagnostically as an indicator of the differentiation stage of a given B-cell tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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