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A comparison between protein profiles of B cell subpopulations and mantle cell lymphoma cells

Henrik Stranneheim13, Lukas M Orre2, Janne Lehtiö2 and Jenny Flygare3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gene Technology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

2 Karolinska Biomics Center, Karolinska University Hospital and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, F-46, SE-14186 Stockholm, Sweden

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Proteome Science 2009, 7:43  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-7-43

Published: 23 November 2009



B-cell lymphomas are thought to reflect different stages of B-cell maturation. Based on cytogenetics and molecular markers, mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is presumed to derive predominantly from naïve, pre-germinal centre (pre-GC) B lymphocytes. The aim of this study was to develop a method to investigate the similarity between MCL cells and different B-cell compartments on a protein expression level.


Subpopulations of B cells representing the germinal centre (GC), the pre-GC mantle zone and the post-GC marginal zone were isolated from tonsils using automated magnetic cell sorting (AutoMACS) of cells based on their expression of CD27 and IgD. Protein profiling of the B cell subsets, of cell lines representing different lymphomas and of primary MCL samples was performed using top-down proteomics profiling by surface-enhanced laser detection/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS).


Quantitative MS data of significant protein peaks (p-value < 0.05) separating the three B-cell subpopulations were generated. Together, hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the primary MCL samples clustered together with the pre- and post-GC subpopulations. Both primary MCL cells and MCL cell lines were clearly separated from the B cells representing the GC compartment.


AutoMACS sorting generates sufficient purity to enable a comparison between protein profiles of B cell subpopulations and malignant B lymphocytes applying SELDI-TOF-MS. Further validation with an increased number of patient samples and identification of differentially expressed proteins would enable a search for possible treatment targets that are expressed during the early development of MCL.