METHODS AND RESULTS: Analysis of publicly available DLBCL microarray data sets showed that TRPM4 transcripts were up-regulated in DLBCL compared to normal germinal centre B (GCB) cells, were expressed more highly in the activated B cell-like DLBCL (ABC-DLBCL) subtype and higher TRPM4 transcripts conferred worse overall survival (OS) in R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone)-treated DLBCL cases (P < 0.05). Our immunohistochemical analysis showed that TRPM4 was expressed in various human tissues but not in normal B cells within lymphoid tissues (reactive tonsil, lymph node and appendix). TRPM4 protein was present in 26% (n = 49 of 189) of our cohort of R-CHOP-treated DLBCL cases and this was associated significantly with more aggressive clinical parameters, including higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) scores or stage (P < 0.01 for each of the parameters) and the ABC-DLBCL subtype (P = 0.016). TRPM4 positivity conferred significantly worse OS (P = 0.004) and progression-free survival (PFS) (P = 0.005). Worse OS remained associated significantly with TRPM4 positivity in multivariate analysis, including higher International Prognostic Index (IPI) or the non-GCB DLBCL phenotype (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: TRPM4 protein expression is up-regulated in DLBCL cases compared to non-malignant B cells with preferential expression in ABC-DLBCL cases, and it confers significantly poorer DLBCL patient outcomes.