CD40 plays important roles in the proliferation, survival and differentiation of lymphocytes. Constitutively active CD40 recruits TRAFs and IKKs within the lipid rafts to form a signalosome that mediates pivotal downstream proliferation and survival mechanisms involving NF-kB. Recently, we have reported that nuclear localization of CD40, through its interaction with c-Rel, promotes growth, cell cycle progression and survival in large B cell lymphoma. Our studies have opened a new paradigm in the functional role of CD40 in non-Hodgkin lymphomas of B cell origin (NHL-B). However, the mechanism about how CD40 enters nuclear still remains elusive. In this study, we show that CD40 ligation enhances its nuclear accumulation with activation of c-Rel in both normal B-lymphocytes and B cell lymphoma cells with cell fractionation assay and con-focal microscopy. Over-expression of c-Rel in B cell lymphoma cells drives CD40 into cell nucleus. We hypothesize that the route CD40 enters nucleus may involve endosome-endoplasmic reticulum-nuclear pore complex. Indeed, further studies show CD40 co-localizes with endosome marker-EEA1 and endoplasmic reticulum marker-Sec61. Furthermore, our co-immunoprecipitation assay has demonstrated CD40 interacts with Sec61. CD40 also co-localizes and immuno-precipitates with nuclear pore complex (NPC) proteins-NUP62 in normal B-lymphocytes and B lymphoma cells, which suggests NPC proteins may facilitate the nuclear translocation of CD40 protein. Overall, our study suggests that translocation of CD40 into cell nucleus involves multiple pathways. Blocking nuclear localization may modulate the function of CD40 in lymphoma cells; which could provide a new-targeted therapeutic approach for lymphoma therapy.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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