A subset of HGBCL, NOS displayed recurrent alterations of Burkitt lymphoma related genes such as MYC, ID3 and DDX3X and homozygous deletions of 9p21/CDKN2A whereas other cases were genetically closer to GCB-DLBCL.
Patients demonstrating a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-positive precursor B cell phenotype with IGH-MYC rearrangement have been reported to be molecularly distinct from BL and closer to B-ALL/LBL.
Oncogenic MYC activation promotes proliferation in Burkitt lymphoma, but also induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis mediated by p53, a tumor suppressor that is mutated in 40% of Burkitt lymphoma cases.
Bioinformatics integration of all data sets revealed different MYC-binding patterns and transcriptional profiles in MYC-positive BL and DLBCL cell lines indicating different functional roles of MYC for gene regulation in aggressive B-cell lymphomas.
Thus, the capacity of Tat to spontaneously penetrate B-cells could be sufficient to favor the occurrence of MYC-IGH oncogenic rearrangements during erroneous repair, a plausible cause for the increased incidence of Burkitt lymphoma in the HIV-infected population.
To explore whether disruption of the MYC-WDR5 interaction could potentially become a viable anticancer strategy, we developed a Burkitt's lymphoma system that allows replacement of wild-type MYC for mutants that are defective for WDR5 binding or all known nuclear MYC functions.
Using a Burkitt lymphoma-like gene expression signature, we recently defined a high-risk molecular high-grade (MHG) group mainly within germinal centre B-cell like diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (GCB-DLBCL), which was enriched for MYC/BCL2 double-hit (MYC/BCL2-DH).
Our analysis provided a novel look on the transition range between FL and DLBCL, on DLBCL with poor prognosis showing expression patterns resembling that of Burkitt's lymphoma and particularly on 'double-hit' MYC and BCL2 transformed lymphomas.
Nevertheless, due to the overlapping clinic, morphology and immunohistochemistry (apart for MYC versus MYCN protein expression) of both sub-groups, the described cases represent bona fide BL according to the current criteria of the World Health Organization.
These cases seem to represent a distinct biological phenomenon, in which a MYC translocation may be acquired at an immature stage of differentiation, thus manifesting features of both B-ALL/LBL and Burkitt lymphoma.
By flow cytometry, Burkitt-like lymphoma with 11q aberration immunophenotypically resembled MYC-positive Burkitt lymphoma, except for significantly (adjusted P<0.001) more frequent CD38<sup>higher</sup> expression in Burkitt lymphoma (91% MYC-positive Burkitt lymphoma vs 10% Burkitt-like lymphoma with 11q aberration), more frequently diminished CD45 expression in Burkitt lymphoma (74% vs 10%), an exclusive CD16/CD56 and highly restricted CD8 expression in Burkitt-like lymphoma with 11q aberration (60% vs 0% and 40% vs 4%, respectively).
Although the critical role of MYC in Burkitt's lymphoma has been well described, recent biologic insights have identified several new mutations that cooperate with MYC in driving lymphomagenesis, paving the way for novel drug testing in this disease.
Here, we report sAJM589, a novel small molecule Myc inhibitor, identified from a PCA-based high-throughput screen. sAJM589 potently disrupts the Myc-Max heterodimer in a dose dependent manner with an IC<sub>50</sub> of 1.8 ± 0.03 μM. sAJM589 preferentially inhibits transcription of Myc target genes in a Burkitt lymphoma cell model, P493-6.
Although MYC translocations define Burkitt lymphoma and MYC protein expression is a poor prognostic factor in undifferentiated neuroblastomas, the distribution of MYC protein (c-MYC) across other pediatric small round blue cell tumors (SRBCT) has not been well characterized.