Overexpression of Syk tyrosine kinase in peripheral T-cell lymphomas

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Abstract

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are fatal in the majority of patients and novel treatments, such as protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) inhibition, are needed. The recent finding of SYK/ITK translocations in rare PTCLs led us to examine the expression of Syk PTK in 141 PTCLs. Syk was positive by immuno-histochemistry (IHC) in 133 PTCLs (94%), whereas normal T cells were negative. Western blot on frozen tissue (n=6) and flow cytometry on cell suspensions (n=4) correlated with IHC results in paraffin. Additionally, western blot demonstrated that Syk-positive PTCLs show tyrosine (525/526) phosphorylation, known to be required for Syk activation. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed no SYK/ITK translocation in 86 cases. Overexpression of Syk, phosphorylation of its Y525/526 residues and the availability of orally available Syk inhibitors suggest that Syk merits further evaluation as a candidate target for pharmacologic PTK inhibition in patients with PTCL.

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