Key Points

  • Utilizing a novel mouse model mimicking MCL patient mutations, the loss of UBR5's HECT domain causes alterations in B cell development.

  • UBR5 mutations lead to stabilization of UBR5 and spliceosome components leading to aberrant splicing.

Coordination of a number of molecular mechanisms including transcription, alternative splicing, and class switch recombination are required to facilitate development, activation, and survival of B cells. Disruption of these pathways can result in malignant transformation. Recently, next generation sequencing has identified a number of novel mutations in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) patients including mutations in the ubiquitin E3 ligase UBR5. Approximately 18% of MCL patients were found to have mutations in UBR5 with the majority of mutations within the HECT domain of the protein which can accept and transfer ubiquitin molecules to the substrate. Determining if UBR5 controls the maturation of B cells is important to fully understand malignant transformation to MCL. To elucidate the role of UBR5 in B cell maturation and activation we generated a conditional mutant disrupting UBR5's C-terminal HECT domain. Loss of the UBR5 HECT domain leads to a block in maturation of B cells in the spleen and up-regulation of proteins associated with mRNA splicing via the spliceosome. Our studies reveal a novel role of UBR5 in B cell maturation by stabilization of spliceosome components during B cell development and suggests UBR5 mutations play a role in mantle cell lymphoma transformation.

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