American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science vol:331 issue:6016 pages:468-472
Proper regulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) transcriptional activity is required for normal lymphocyte function, and deregulated NF-kappa B signaling can facilitate lymphomagenesis. We demonstrate that the API2-MALT1 fusion oncoprotein created by the recurrent t(11;18)(q21;q21) in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma induces proteolytic cleavage of NF-kappa B-inducing kinase (NIK) at arginine 325. NIK cleavage requires the concerted actions of both fusion partners and generates a C-terminal NIK fragment that retains kinase activity and is resistant to proteasomal degradation. The resulting deregulated NIK activity is associated with constitutive noncanonical NF-kappa B signaling, enhanced B cell adhesion, and apoptosis resistance. Our study reveals the gain-of-function proteolytic activity of a fusion oncoprotein and highlights the importance of the noncanonical NF-kappa B pathway in B lymphoproliferative disease.