Calcineurin-independent NFATc1 signaling is essential for survival of Burkitt lymphoma cells

Krisna Murti, Hendrik Fender, Carolin Glatzle, Rhoda Wismer, Salvador Sampere-Birlanga, Vanessa Wild, Khalid Muhammad, Andreas Rosenwald, Edgar Serfling, Andris Avots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Burkitt lymphoma (BL), a tumor of germinal center B cells, the pro-apoptotic properties of MYC are controlled by tonic B cell receptor (BCR) signals. Since BL cells do not exhibit constitutive NF-κB activity, we hypothesized that anti-apoptotic NFATc1 proteins provide a major transcriptional survival signal in BL. Here we show that post-transcriptional mechanisms are responsible for the calcineurin (CN) independent constitutive nuclear over-expression of NFATc1 in BL and Eµ-MYC – induced B cell lymphomas (BCL). Conditional inactivation of the Nfatc1 gene in B cells of Eµ-MYC mice leads to apoptosis of BCL cells in vivo and ex vivo. Inhibition of BCR/SYK/BTK/PI3K signals in BL cells results in cytosolic re-location of NFATc1 and apoptosis. Therefore, NFATc1 activity is an integrated part of tonic BCR signaling and an alternative target for therapeutic intervention in BL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1205788
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • B cell receptor (BCR)
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Burkitt lymphoma (BL)
  • NFATc1
  • activated B cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL)
  • apoptosis
  • cyclosporin A
  • nuclear localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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