Gene expression profiling identifies molecular subgroups among nodal peripheral T-cell lymphomas
The classification of peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) is still a matter of debate. To establish a molecular classification of PTCL, we analysed 59 primary nodal T-cell lymphomas using cDNA microarrays, including 56 PTCL and three T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL). The expression profiles could discriminate angioimmunoblastic lymphoma, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and T-LBL. In contrast, cases belonging to the broad category of 'PTCL, unspecified' (PTCL-U) did not share a single molecular profile. Using a multiclass predictor, we could separate PTCL-U into three molecular subgroups called U1, U2 and U3. The U1 gene expression signature included genes known to be associated with poor outcome in other tumors, such as CCND2. The U2 subgroup was associated with overexpression of genes involved in T-cell activation and apoptosis, including NFKB1 and BCL-2. The U3 subgroup was mainly defined by overexpression of genes involved in the IFN/JAK/STAT pathway. It comprised a majority of histiocyte-rich PTCL samples. Gene Ontology annotations revealed different functional profile for each subgroup. These results suggest the existence of distinct subtypes of PTCL-U with specific molecular profiles, and thus provide a basis to improve their classification and to develop new therapeutic targets.