Sporadic and endemic Burkitt lymphoma have frequent FOXO1 mutations but distinct hotspots in the AKT recognition motif.

P Zhou, AE Blain, AM Newman, M Zaka, G Chagaluka, FR Adlar, UT Offor, C Broadbent, L Chaytor, A Whitehead, A Hall, H O'Connor, Noorden S Van, Irvin Lampert, Simon Bailey, Elizabeth Molyneux, Chris M. Bacon, Simon Bomken, V Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


FOXO1 has an oncogenic role in adult germinal center–derived lymphomas, in which mutations, predominately within the AKT recognition motif, cause nuclear retention of FOXO1, resulting in increased cell proliferation. To determine the prevalence and distribution of FOXO1 mutations in pediatric Burkitt lymphoma (BL), we sequenced a large number of sporadic and endemic BL patient samples. We report a high frequency of FOXO1 mutations in both sporadic and endemic BL at diagnosis, occurring in 23/78 (29%) and 48/89 (54%) samples, respectively, as well as 8/16 (50%) cases at relapse. Mutations of T24 were the most common in sporadic BL but were rare in endemic cases, in which mutations of residue S22, also within the AKT recognition motif, were the most frequent. FOXO1 mutations were almost always present in the major tumor cell clone but were not associated with outcome. Analysis of other recurrent mutations reported in BL revealed that FOXO1 mutations were associated with mutations of DDX3X and ARID1A, but not MYC, TCF3/ID3, or members of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathway. We further show common nuclear retention of the FOXO1 protein, irrespective of mutation status, suggesting alternative unknown mechanisms for maintaining FOXO1 transcriptional activity in BL. CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of FOXO1 in an endemic cell line produced a significant decrease in cell proliferation, supporting an oncogenic role for FOXO1 in endemic BL. Thus, FOXO1 is frequently mutated in both sporadic and endemic BL and may offer a potential therapeutic target for pediatric BL patients worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2118–2127
JournalBlood advances
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


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