BENTA (B cell Expansion with NF-κB and T cell Anergy) is a novel lymphoproliferative disorder caused by germline, gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in the lymphocyte-restricted scaffolding protein CARD11. Similar somatic CARD11 mutations are found in lymphoid malignancies such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Normally, antigen receptor (AgR) engagement converts CARD11 into an active conformation that nucleates a signalosome required for IκB kinase (IKK) activation and NF-κB nuclear translocation. However, GOF CARD11 mutants drive constitutive NF-κB activity without AgR stimulation. Here we show that unlike wild-type CARD11, GOF CARD11 mutants can form large, peculiar cytosolic protein aggregates we term mCADS (mutant CARD11 dependent shells). MALT1 and phospho-IKK are reliably colocalized with mCADS, indicative of active signaling. Moreover, endogenous mCADS are detectable in ABC-DLBCL lines harboring similar GOF CARD11 mutations. The unique aggregation potential of GOF CARD11 mutants may represent a novel therapeutic target for treating BENTA or DLBCL.
Published by Elsevier Inc.