CD84 mediates CLL-microenvironment interactions

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Abstract

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a malignant disease of small mature lymphocytes. Signals from the CLL microenvironment promote progression of the disease and induce drug resistance. This phenomenon is largely dependent on direct contact between the malignant B cells and stromal cells. CD84 belongs to the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule family of immunoreceptors, which self-associates, forming an orthogonal homophilic dimer. We therefore hypothesized that CD84 may bridge between CLL cells and their microenvironment, promoting cell survival. Our in vitro results show that CD84 expressed on CLL cells interact with CD84 expressed on cells in their microenvironment, inducing cell survival in both sides. Blocking CD84 in vitro and in vivo disrupt the interaction of CLL cells with their microenvironment, resulting in induced cell death. Thus, our findings suggest novel therapeutic strategies based on the blockade of this CD84-dependent survival pathway.

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