A number of single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with disease predisposition in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the MDM2 promotor region, MDM2SNP309, was shown to soothe the p53 pathway. In the current study, we aimed to clarify the effect of the MDM2SNP309 on chronic lymphocytic leukemia characteristics and outcome. We performed a meta-analysis of data from 2598 individual patients from 10 different cohorts. Patients' data and genetic analysis for MDM2SNP309 genotype, immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region mutation status and fluorescence in situ hybridization results were collected. There were no differences in overall survival based on the polymorphism (log rank test, stratified by study cohort; P=0.76; GG genotype: cohort-adjusted median overall survival of 151 months; TG: 153 months; TT: 149 months). In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, advanced age, male sex and unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region genes were associated with inferior survival, but not the MDM2 genotype. The MDM2SNP309 is unlikely to influence disease characteristics and prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Studies investigating the impact of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms on prognosis are often controversial. This may be due to selection bias and small sample size. A meta-analysis based on individual patient data provides a reasonable strategy for prognostic factor analyses in the case of small individual studies. Individual patient data-based meta-analysis can, therefore, be a powerful tool to assess genetic risk factors in the absence of large studies.
In leukemia, TP53 mutations are not frequent but clearly associate with impaired survival and therapy response. Here, we describe the biological and clinical consequences of TP53 dysfunction as well as the methodical aspects of TP53 analysis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In CLL, TP53 defects are routinely analyzed as part of disease prognostication. Deletions of TP53 locus (17p) have been uniformly detected using I-FISH for several years. Since monoallelic mutations have also been shown to have negative prognostic impact, it is recommended to examine both TP53 mutations and deletions. Several methods are used to detect TP53 mutations, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) is becoming a convenient option for routine analysis. Besides this, ultradeep NGS permits the detection of minor clones carrying TP53 mutations, even below 1%. The prognostic impact of minor TP53-defective subclones is currently unknown, nevertheless they unequivocally bear the risk of being selected by therapy. Prospective studies assessing the consequences of carrying such clones are in progress.
In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, usually a monoclonal disease, multiple productive immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements are identified sporadically. Prognostication of such cases based on immunoglobulin heavy variable gene mutational status can be problematic, especially if the different rearrangements have discordant mutational status. To gain insight into the possible biological mechanisms underlying origin of the multiple rearrangements, we performed a comprehensive immunogenetic and immunophenotypic characterization of 31 cases with the multiple rearrangements identified in a cohort of 1147 chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. For the majority of cases (25/31), we provide evidence for the co-existence of at least two B lymphocyte clones with chronic lymphocytic leukemia phenotype. We also identified clonal drifts in serial samples, likely driven by selection forces. More specifically, higher immunoglobulin variable gene identity to germline and longer complementarity determining region 3 were preferred in persistent or newly appearing clones, a phenomenon more pronounced in patients with stereotyped B cell receptors. Finally, we report that other factors, such as TP53 gene defects and therapy administration, influence clonal selection. Our findings are relevant to clonal evolution in the context of antigen stimulation and transition of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
ATM abnormalities are frequent in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and represent an important prognostic factor. Sole 11q deletion does not result in ATM inactivation by contrast to biallelic defects involving mutations. Therefore, the analysis of ATM mutations and their functional impact is crucial. In this study, we analyzed ATM mutations in predominantly high-risk patients using: i) resequencing microarray and direct sequencing; ii) Western blot for total ATM level; iii) functional test based on p21 gene induction after parallel treatment of leukemic cells with fludarabine and doxorubicin. ATM dysfunction leads to impaired p21 induction after doxorubicin exposure. We detected ATM mutation in 16% (22 of 140) of patients, and all mutated samples manifested demonstrable ATM defect (impaired p21 upregulation after doxorubicin and/or null protein level). Loss of ATM function in mutated samples was also evidenced through defective p53 pathway activation after ionizing radiation exposure. ATM mutation frequency was 34% in patients with 11q deletion, 4% in the TP53-defected group, and 8% in wild-type patients. Our functional test, convenient for routine use, showed high sensitivity (80%) and specificity (97%) for ATM mutations prediction. Only cells with ATM mutation, but not those with sole 11q deletion, were resistant to doxorubicin. As far as fludarabine is concerned, this difference was not observed. Interestingly, patients from both these groups experienced nearly identical time to first treatment. In conclusion, ATM mutations either alone or in combination with 11q deletion uniformly led to demonstrable ATM dysfunction in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mutation presence can be predicted by the functional test using doxorubicin.
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is a conserved pathway that regulates cell migration and polarity in various contexts. Here we show that key PCP pathway components such as Vangl2, Celsr1, Prickle1, FZD3, FZD7, Dvl2, Dvl3, and casein kinase 1 (CK1)-? are upregulated in B lymphocytes of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Elevated levels of PCP proteins accumulate in advanced stages of the disease. Here, we show that PCP pathway is required for the migration and transendothelial invasion of CLL cells and that patients with high expression of PCP genes, FZD3, FZD7, and PRICKLE1, have a less favorable clinical prognosis. Our findings establish that the PCP pathway acts as an important regulator of CLL cell migration and invasion. PCP proteins represent an important class of molecules regulating pathogenic interaction of CLL cells with their microenvironment.
Evidence has been growing that the pathogenesis of lymphoproliferative disease involves immune processes deregulation. It is believed that antigens or immunological elements can trigger transformation of normal lymphocyte polyclonal population into monoclonal neoplastic disorder--lymphoproliferative disease. Extensive studies point to the link between malignant lymphoma development and autoimmune or inflammatory diseases--namely rheumatoid arthritis, Sjörgens syndrome, coeliac disease, systemic lupus erythematosus or thyroiditis. Increased risk of lymphoproliferative disease development was also proved for some infections. These infections involve both viral (e.g. Epstein-Barr virus, HIV or hepatitis C virus) and bacterial agents (e.g. Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi). Besides various lymphomas, the links to autoimmune/inflammatory diseases have also been described in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Regarding clinical medicine, it is necessary to distinguish patients with autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases who are at the increased risk of tumour development. New approaches must be found to lower this risk. Also, the relationship between autoimmune/inflammatory disease therapy and lymphoma development should be clarified. Although lymphomas associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases represent only a small proportion of all lymphomas, any new findings regarding these diseases can cast light on lymphoma pathogenesis as a whole.
Acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD) is a frequent, life-threatening complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Despite that, there are no reliable molecular markers reflecting the onset or clinical course of aGVHD. We performed a pilot study on gene expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells taken from 15 patients with hematological malignancies who underwent allo-HSCT and developed aGVHD. Based on survival rates after aGVHD, patients were divided into two groups-favorable (all patients alive; median follow-up 40 months) vs unfavorable group (all patients died; median survival 2 months). Two-hundred and eighty genes differentially expressed between these two groups were identified; among them, genes responsible for cytokine signaling, inflammatory response, and regulation of cell cycle were over-represented; interleukin-8, G0S2, ANXA3, and NR4A2 were upregulated in the unfavorable group, CDKN1C was downregulated in the same group. Interestingly, the same genes were also described as overexpressed in connection with autoimmune diseases. This indicates an involvement of similar immune regulatory pathways also in aGVHD. Our data support use of gene expression profiling at aGVHD onset for a prediction of its outcomes.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia as well as in normal B cells. Notably, miRNA gene encoding miR-650 and its homologs overlap with several variable (V) subgenes coding for lambda immunoglobulin (IgL?). Recent studies describe the role of miR-650 in solid tumors, but its role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has not yet been studied. Our experiments demonstrate that miR-650 expression is regulated by coupled expression with its host gene for IgL?. This coupling provides a unique yet unobserved mechanism for microRNA gene regulation. We determine that higher expression of miR-650 is associated with a favorable CLL prognosis and influences the proliferation capacity of B cells. We also establish that in B cells, miR-650 targets proteins important in cell proliferation and survival: cyclin dependent kinase 1 (CDK1), inhibitor of growth 4 (ING4), and early B-cell factor 3 (EBF3). This study underscores the importance of miR-650 in CLL biology and normal B-cell physiology.
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