Pierre Cauchy has recently presented on his work scanning the genome of Hodgkin lymphoma cells to find areas that are unusually active – he has identified one protein that orchestrated proper cellular signalling but went awry in these lymphomas.
Pierre said, “Although Hodgkin lymphoma’s 5-year survival rate currently stands at 85 per cent, its longer-term survival trends are as yet unknown. This calls for a deeper understanding of this pathology. Many studies have previously shown that this disease is a B-cell derived lymphoma, although the normal B-cell expression has gone awry and these cells have little in common with normal cells. We aimed to understand how this comes to be, and identified one DNA-binding protein previously unreported in this context, IRF5, which seems to turn off the normal expression programme and in turn to cause aberrant expressions of typical Hodgkin lymphoma markers. Crucially, we also showed that these cells are actually dependent on IRF5 for their survival and for the propagation of Hodgkin lymphoma, raising some hopes with regard to the full understanding and treatment of this disease.