Molecular Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Binding of CLL Subset 4 B Cell Receptor Immunoglobulins to Viable Human Memory B Lymphocytes Requires a Distinctive IGKV Somatic Mutation

  • Rosa Catera
  • Yun Liu
  • Chao Gao
  • Xiao-Jie Yan
  • Amanda Magli
  • Steven L. Allen
  • Jonathan E. Kolitz
  • Kanti R. Rai
  • Charles C. Chu
  • Ten Feizi
  • Kostas Stamatopoulos
  • Nicholas Chiorazzi
Research Article


Amino acid replacement mutations in certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) stereotyped B cell receptor (BCR) immunoglobulins (IGs) at defined positions within antigen-binding sites strongly imply antigen selection. Prime examples of this are CLL subset 4 BCR IGs using IGHV4-34/IGHD5-18/IGHJ6 and IGKV2-30/IGKJ2 rearrangements. Conspicuously, and unlike most CLL IGs, subset 4 IGs do not bind apoptotic cells. By testing the (auto)antigenic reactivities of subset 4 IGs toward viable lymphoid-lineage cells and specific autoantigens typically bound by IGHV4-34+ IGs, we found that IGs from both subset 4 and non-subset 4 IGHV4-34-expressing CLL cases bound naïve B cells. However, only subset 4 IGs reacted with memory B cells. Furthermore, subset 4 IGs did not bind DNA nor i or I carbohydrate antigens that are common targets of IGHV4-34-utilizing antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus and cold agglutinin disease, respectively. Notably, we found that subset 4 IG binding to memory B lymphocytes depends on an aspartic acid at position 66 of FR3 in the rearranged IGKV2-30 gene; this amino acid residue is acquired by somatic mutation. Our findings illustrate the importance of positive and negative selection criteria for structural elements in CLL IGs and suggest that autoantigens driving normal B cells to become subset 4 CLL cells differ from those driving IGHV4-34+ B cells in other diseases.



This work was supported in part by an RO-1 grant from the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health (CA081554) (to NC), and Bloodwise grant 14028 and Wellcome Trust grants WT093378MA and WT099197MA (to TF). Additional support in the form of philanthropic contributions was provided by the Karches Foundation, Marks Foundation, Nash Family Foundation, Jerome Levy Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, Frank and Mildred Feinberg Foundation, Mona and Edward Albert Foundation and Jean Walton Fund for Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma Research.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 167 KB.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Catera
    • 1
  • Yun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chao Gao
    • 3
  • Xiao-Jie Yan
    • 1
  • Amanda Magli
    • 1
  • Steven L. Allen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jonathan E. Kolitz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kanti R. Rai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Charles C. Chu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ten Feizi
    • 3
  • Kostas Stamatopoulos
    • 5
  • Nicholas Chiorazzi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Karches Center for Oncology ResearchThe Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Experimental ImmunologyManhassetUSA
  2. 2.Hofstra Northwell School of MedicineHempsteadUSA
  3. 3.Glycosciences Laboratory, Department of MedicineImperial College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of MedicineHofstra Northwell School of MedicineHempsteadUSA
  5. 5.Institute of Applied BiosciencesCentre for Research and Technology-HellasThessalonikiGreece

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