Burkitt lymphoma cells (BL) exploit antigen-independent tonic signals transduced by the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) for their survival, but the molecular details of the rewired BLspecific BCR signal network remain unclear. A loss of function screen revealed the SH2 domain-containing 5`-inositol phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) as a potential modulator of BL fitness. We characterized the role of SHIP2 in BL survival in several BL cell models and show that perturbing SHIP2 function renders cells more susceptible to apoptosis, while attenuating proliferation in a BCR-dependent manner. Unexpectedly, SHIP2 deficiency did neither affect PI3K survival signals nor MAPK activity, but attenuated ATP production. We found that an efficient energy metabolism in BL cells requires phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate (PI(3,4)P2), which is the enzymatic product of SHIP proteins. Consistently, interference with the function of SHIP1 and SHIP2 augments BL cell susceptibility to PI3K inhibition. Notably, we here provide a molecular basis of how tonic BCR signals are connected to energy supply, which is particularly important for such an aggressively growing neoplasia. These findings may help to improve therapies for the treatment of BL by limiting energy metabolism through the inhibition of SHIP proteins, which renders BL cells more susceptible to the targeting of survival signals.
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