Yamashita T, et al. Sci Rep 2020.
MYC-associated factor X (MAX) is a protein in the basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper family, which is ubiquitously and constitutively expressed in various normal tissues and tumors. MAX protein mediates various cellular functions such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis through the MYC-MAX protein complex. Recently, it has been reported that MYC regulates the proliferation of anaplastic large cell lymphoma. However, the expression and function of MAX in anaplastic large cell
lymphoma remain to be elucidated. We herein investigated MAX expression in anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) and found 11 of 37 patients (30%) with ALCL lacked MAX expression, whereas 15 of 15 patients (100%) with PTCL-NOS expressed MAX protein. ALCL patients lacking MAX expression had a significantly inferior prognosis compared with patients having MAX expression. Moreover, patients without MAX expression significantly had histological non-common variants, which were mainly detected in aggressive ALCL cases. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that MAX expression was related to the expression of MYC and cytotoxic molecules. These findings demonstrate that lack of MAX expression is a potential poor prognostic biomarker in ALCL and a candidate marker for differential diagnosis of ALCL and PTCL-NOS.