NF-κB and AKT signaling prevent DNA damage in transformed pre-B cells by suppressing RAG1/2 expression and activity

Katarina Ochodnicka-Mackovicova, Mahnoush Bahjat, Timon A. Bloedjes, Chiel Maas, Alexander M. de Bruin, Richard J. Bende, Carel J. M. van Noesel, Jeroen E. J. Guikema

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16 Citations (Scopus)


In developing lymphocytes, expression and activity of the recombination activation gene protein 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 endonuclease complex is tightly regulated to ensure ordered recombination of the immunoglobulin genes and to avoid genomic instability. Aberrant RAG activity has been implicated in the generation of secondary genetic events in human B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (B-ALLs), illustrating the oncogenic potential of the RAG complex. Several layers of regulation prevent collateral genomic DNA damage by restricting RAG activity to the G1 phase of the cell cycle. In this study, we show a novel pathway that suppresses RAG expression in cycling-transformed mouse pre-B cells and human pre-B B-ALL cells that involves the negative regulation of FOXO1 by nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). Inhibition of NF-κB in cycling pre-B cells resulted in upregulation of RAG expression and recombination activity, which provoked RAG-dependent DNA damage. In agreement, we observe a negative correlation between NF-κB activity and the expression of RAG1, RAG2, and TdT in B-ALL patients. Our data suggest that targeting NF-κB in B-ALL increases the risk of RAG-dependent genomic instability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-1335
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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