Title: Targeting TRAF3 downstream signaling pathways in B cell neoplasms
Ping Xie is an Associate Professor in Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Research in Dr. Xie’s laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of immune regulation and cancer pathogenesis.
B cell neoplasms comprise >50% of blood cancers. However, many types of B cell malignancies remain incurable. Identification and validation of novel genetic risk factors and oncogenic signaling pathways are imperative for the development of new therapeutic strategies. We and others recently identified TRAF3, a cytoplasmic adaptor protein, as a novel tumor suppressor gene in B lymphocytes. We found that TRAF3 inactivation results in prolonged survival of mature B cells, which eventually leads to spontaneous development of B lymphomas in mice. Corroborating our findings, TRAF3 deletions and mutations frequently occur in human B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (such as splenic marginal zone lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma), multiple myeloma, and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. In this context, we have been investigating TRAF3 signaling mechanisms in B cells, and are developing new therapeutic strategies to target TRAF3 downstream signaling pathways in B cell neoplasms. Here I will present and discuss our new translational data that demonstrate the therapeutic potential of targeting TRAF3 downstream signaling pathways in B lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Grant support: This study was supported by the Department of Defense grant W81XWH-13-1-0242, the National Institutes of Health grant CA158402, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey through Grant Number P30CA072720 from the National Cancer Institute.