Transforming Growth Factor-Beta Orchestrates Tumour and Bystander Cells in B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFB) is a critical regulator of normal haematopoiesis. Dysregulation of the TGFB pathway is associated with numerous haematological malignancies including myelofibrosis, acute myeloid leukaemia, and lymphoid disorders. TGFB has classically been seen as a negative regulator of proliferation in haematopoiesis whilst stimulating differentiation and apoptosis, as required to maintain homeostasis. Tumours frequently develop intrinsic resistant mechanisms to homeostatic TGFB signalling to antagonise its tumour-suppressive functions. Furthermore, elevated levels of TGFB enhance pathogenesis through modulation of the immune system and tumour microenvironment. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of TGFB signalling in B-cell malignancies with a focus on the tumour microenvironment. Malignant B-cells harbour subtype-specific alterations in TGFB signalling elements including downregulation of surface receptors, modulation of SMAD signalling proteins, as well as genetic and epigenetic aberrations. Microenvironmental TGFB generates a protumoural niche reprogramming stromal, natural killer (NK), and T-cells. Increasingly, evidence points to complex bi-directional cross-talk between cells of the microenvironment and malignant B-cells. A greater understanding of intercellular communication and the context-specific nature of TGFB signalling may provide further insight into disease pathogenesis and future therapeutic strategies.
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