Aims:

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most frequent malignant lymphoma subtype, is a group of highly invasive diseases with great heterogeneity in genomic alterations, clinical characteristics, morphological manifestations, treatment response and prognosis. Although most DLBCL patients can be cured by immunochemotherapy, nearly 40% of DLBCL patients still develop drug resistance and relapse. For relapsed/ refractory (R/R) DLBCL patients, there is still no optimal treatment. The heterogeneity and clonal evolution of tumor cells are the core driving forces for the occurrence and development of DLBCL, and the root causes for their refractory, recurrence and drug resistance. In this study, we screened out a novel small molecule compound effectively killing DLBCL cells, and analyzed its potential mechanism of anti-tumor. Meanwhile, by using single cell sequencing technology, we try to further investigate the heterogeneity and clona evolution and drug resistance mechanism of DLBCL under different drug pressure, explore core driver factors of drug resistance, evaluate and develop new treatment strategies.

Methods:

In this study, GEXSCOPE microfluidic platform was used for single-cell transcriptome sequencing. Seruat software was used for cell type recognition and clustering analysis. In order to further investigate the molecular mechanism of LAQ824 inducing the apoptosis of DLBCL cells and explore the target of LAQ824, antibody chip was performed to detect the phosphorylation of related signaling pathway. Gene expression was detected by real-time qPCR and Western blot. ChIP, RNA interfering (RNAi) and dual-luciferase activity assay were performed to validate the potential drug resistance targets for LAQ824. Moreover, WES of 21 DLBCL cell lines were performed to map mutations and analyze the correlation between related mutations and LAQ824 resistance. In this study, we established DLBCL animal models using NOD SCID mice transplanted with DLBCL cell lines, by which we could evaluate the tumor inhibition efficiency of LAQ824 alone and/or combination with other small molecular inhibitors.

Results:

Using GDSC database, we screened out Dacinostat (LAQ824), a novel HDAC inhibitor, was highly sensitive that could effectively induce the apoptosis of most DLBCL cells at low concentrations. Functional assay showed that LAQ824 could inhibit cell proliferation and promote apoptosis of tumor cells. LAQ824 treatment could significantly upregulate the acetylation level of histone H3 within a certain concentration range, and the DNA damage repair function of DLBCL cells was supressed by inhibiting Chk2 expression, thus significantly inducing cell apoptosis and effectively killing DLBCL cells. Meanwhile, through single-cell sequencing analysis, it was found that c-Fos could be activated under certain drug pressure of LAQ824. As a potential drug-resistant core driver gene, the expression level of c-Fos is highly correlated with IC50 of LAQ824 and the prognosis of patients with DLBCL, which can be used as a sensitivity indicator of LAQ824. Treatment with c-Fos inhibitor combined with LAQ824 can significantly improve the tumor inhibition rate, validated both in vitro and in vivo, which is expected to alleviate the recurrence and drug resistance of DLBCL patients.

Conclusions:

In general, we explores potential therapeutic drugs for DLBCL parients, adjusts and explores new clinical treatment strategies on this basis, and provides theoretical basis and data support for the realization of individualized precise treatment and the solution of DLBCL recurrence and drug resistance.

Disclosures

No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.