Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is one aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Genetic analyses revealed molecular heterogeneity of DLBCL tumors, classifying the cell-of-origin into two distinct molecular subtypes: germinal center B-cell (GCB) and activated B-cell (ABC). ABC-type DLBCL has a worse survival after upfront chemotherapy compared to GCB-type DLBCL, thus ABC-type DLBCL patients have an unmet medical need that warrants additional research efforts and new therapeutic options. In current study we explored the biological role and potential therapeutic implication of a protein phosphatase SHP-1 in DLBCL.


DLBCL cell lines including ABC-like cell lines U2932, Ly-3 and GC-like cell lines DHL-6, Ly-7 and DB were used for in vitro studies. Cell viability was examined by MTT assay. Apoptotic effects were examined by flow cytometry and Western blot. Signal transduction pathways in cells were assessed by Western blot. In vivo therapeutic testing of SHP-1 agonists were performed in nude mice with DLBCL xenografts.


We first examined the protein expression of SHP-1 and its downstream p-STAT3 in a panel of DLBCL cell lines, and identified in general SHP-1/p-STAT3 expression was higher in ABC-like cells. Interestingly, the expressions of p-Lyn (Tyr396), p-BTK (Tyr223), key members of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway, were also higher in ABC-like cells. Knockdown or overexpression of SHP-1 protein expression revealed a reciprocal change of p-Lyn, suggesting SHP-1 negatively regulates phosphorylation of Lyn kinase. Immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed SHP-1 interact with Lyn in DLBCL cells. We previously developed direct SHP-1 agonists, namely SC-43 and SC-60, which could increase SHP-1 activities and induce apoptosis. Here we tested SC-43 and SC-60 in comparison to ibrutinib, a selective Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. The SHP-1 agonists showed in general superior anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects, comparing to ibrutinib. Mechanistically, SHP-1 agonists enhanced SHP-1 activity, decreased BCR signaling p-Lyn and p-BTK, which led to apoptosis. In addition, SHP-1 agonists also down-regulated p-STAT3 as previously reported, which also contributes to anti-cancer effects. In vivo, SC-43 at doses of 10mg/kg/day and 30mg/kg/day orally showed comparable anti-tumor effects with ibrutinib at doses of 12.5 mg/kg/day and 25 mg/kg/day in mice bearing U2932 xenografts, respectively. Western blot confirmed SC-43 downregulation on p-Lyn and p-BTK in vivo.


SHP-1 negatively regulates phosphorylation of Lyn, and targeting SHP-1/p-Lyn with direct SHP-1 agonists shows therapeutic potential in DLBCL.

Citation Format: Chun-Yu Liu, Man-Hsin Hung, Ming-Hsien Tsai, Pei-Yi Chu, Tzu-Ting Huang, Chun-Teng Huang, Chung-Wai Shiau, Kuen-Feng Chen. Targeting SHP-1/p-Lyn signaling shows therapeutic potential in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 4192. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-4192