LINC00892 Is an lncRNA Induced by T Cell Activation and Expressed by Follicular Lymphoma-Resident T Helper Cells

Successful immunotherapy in both solid tumors and in hematological malignancies relies on the ability of T lymphocytes to infiltrate the cancer tissue and mount an immune response against the tumor. Biomarkers able to discern the amount and the types of T lymphocytes infiltrating a given tumor therefore have high diagnostic and prognostic value. Given that lncRNAs are known to have a highly cell-type-specific expression pattern, we searched for lncRNAs specifically expressed by activated T cells and at the same time in a kind of lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, where the microenvironment is known to play a critical role in the regulation of antitumor immunity. We focused on a non-coding transcript, annotated as LINC00892, which reaches extremely high expression levels following cell activation in Jurkat cells. Interestingly LINC00892 has an expression pattern resembling that of genes involved in T cell memory. Accordingly, LINC00892 is mostly expressed by the effector memory and helper CD4+ T cell sub-types but not by naïve T cells. In situ analyses of LINC00892 expression in normal lymph nodes and in follicular lymphoma biopsies show that its expression is limited to CD4+ PD1hi T cells, with a subcellular localization within the germinal center matching that of follicular helper T cells. Our analysis therefore suggests that the previously uncharacterized lncRNA LINC00892 could be a useful biomarker for the detection of CD4+ memory T cells in both normal and tumor tissues.


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