Expression of the eukaryotic translation initiation factors 4E and 2alpha in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas

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Department of Pathology

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Blotting, Western; Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2; Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; Lymph Nodes; Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin; Peptide Initiation Factors; Reference Values


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Transition of cells from quiescence to proliferation requires an increase in the rate of protein synthesis, which is regulated in part by two key translation initiation factors, 4E and 2alpha. The expression and activity of both factors are increased transiently when normal resting cells are stimulated to proliferate. They are constitutively elevated in oncogene transformed cultured cells, and overexpression of either initiation factor in rodent cells makes them tumorigenic. In this study we investigate an association between the expression of translation initiation factors and lymphomagenesis. We have analyzed the expression of the protein synthesis initiation factors 4E and 2alpha by immunohistochemistry in reactive lymph nodes and several types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma representing a wide range of clinical behaviors based on the Revised European-American Lymphoma behavioral classification. The study included 7 benign lymph nodes with follicular hyperplasia, 26 indolent lymphomas (6 marginal zone lymphomas, 7 small lymphocytic lymphomas, and 13 follicular lymphomas, grades 1 and 2), 16 moderately aggressive lymphomas (8 mantle cell lymphomas and 8 follicular lymphomas, grade 3), 24 aggressive lymphomas (14 large-B-cell lymphomas and 10 anaplastic large-cell lymphomas), and 15 highly aggressive lymphomas (7 lymphoblastic lymphomas and 8 Burkitt's lymphomas). Strong expression of initiation factors 4E and 2alpha was demonstrated in the germinal centers of reactive follicles. Minimal or no expression was seen in the mantle zones and surrounding paracortices, indicating that high expression of initiation factors 4E and 2alpha is associated with the active proliferation of lymphocytes. Most cases of aggressive and highly aggressive lymphomas showed strong expression of initiation factors 4E and 2alpha, in contrast to the cases of indolent and moderately aggressive lymphoma, in which their expression was intermediate between the germinal centers and the mantles of reactive follicles. A positive correlation was found between the expression of both initiation factors 4E and 2alpha and the Revised European-American Lymphoma behavior classification (P < 0.05). Thus, constitutively increased expression of initiation factors 4E and 2alpha may play an important role in the development of lymphomas and is correlated with their biological aggressiveness.


Am J Pathol. 1999 Jul;155(1):247-55.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of pathology

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