The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of the malignant Hodgkin's/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) are largely unknown. This study investigates the contribution of phosphatidyl-inositide 3 kinase (PI3-kinase) and demonstrates that Akt, a substrate of PI3-kinase, is constitutively activated in HL-derived cell lines. Several downstream effectors of Akt signalling, including glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) alpha and beta and mTOR substrates 4E-BP1 and p70 S6 kinase, were also phosphorylated in HL cells. The mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, inhibited phosphorylation of these proteins. Furthermore, LY294002 inhibited phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1, suggesting that the phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 in HL cells is PI3-kinase dependent. Importantly, HRS cells of primary tumour samples not only expressed high levels of activated Akt but also displayed phosphorylation of downstream targets of Akt activation including GSK-3, 4E-BP1, and p70 S6 Kinase. Inhibition of PI3-kinase and mTOR showed only modest effects on cell survival at the lower serum concentrations. However, rapamycin and doxorubicin acted synergistically to reduce HL cell survival. A combination of rapamycin and chemotherapy should be investigated in the treatment of HL.
- Hodgkin's lymphoma