?ext generation sequencing studies in Homo sapiens have identified novel immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV) genes and alleles necessitating changes in the international ImMunoGeneTics information system (IMGT) GENE-DB and reference directories of IMGT/V-QUEST. In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the somatic hypermutation (SHM) status of the clonotypic rearranged IGHV gene is strongly associated with patient outcome. Correct determination of this parameter strictly depends on the comparison of the nucleotide sequence of the clonotypic rearranged IGHV gene with that of the closest germline counterpart. Consequently, changes in the reference directories could, in principle, affect the correct interpretation of the IGHV mutational status in CLL. To this end, we analyzed 8066 productive IG heavy chain (IGH) rearrangement sequences from our consortium both before and after the latest update of the IMGT/V-QUEST reference directory. Differences were identified in 405 cases (5 % of the cohort). In 291/405 sequences (71.9 %), changes concerned only the IGHV gene or allele name, whereas a change in the percent germline identity (%GI) was noted in 114/405 (28.1 %) sequences; in 50/114 (43.8 %) sequences, changes in the %GI led to a change in the mutational set. In conclusion, recent changes in the IMGT reference directories affected the interpretation of SHM in a sizeable number of IGH rearrangement sequences from CLL patients. This indicates that both physicians and researchers should consider a re-evaluation of IG sequence data, especially for those IGH rearrangement sequences that, up to date, have a GI close to 98 %, where caution is warranted.
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.
Deep profiling of antibody and T cell-receptor repertoires by means of high-throughput sequencing has become an attractive approach for adaptive immunity studies, but its power is substantially compromised by the accumulation of PCR and sequencing errors. Here we report MIGEC (molecular identifier groups-based error correction), a strategy for high-throughput sequencing data analysis. MIGEC allows for nearly absolute error correction while fully preserving the natural diversity of complex immune repertoires.
Lung cancer with the ALK rearrangement constitutes only a small fraction of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, in the era of molecular-targeted therapy, efficient patient selection is crucial for successful treatment. In this context, an effective method for EML4-ALK detection is necessary. We developed a new highly sensitive variant specific TaqMan based real time PCR assay applicable to RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPE).
Abnormalities in ATM and TP53 genes represent important predictive factors in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); however, the efficacy of CD20 targeting immunotherapy is only poorly defined in the affected patients. Therefore, we tested the in vitro response to ofatumumab (OFA) and rituximab (RTX) in 75 CLL samples with clearly defined p53 or ATM inactivation. Using standard conditions allowing complement-dependent cytotoxicity, i.e., 10 ?g/mL of antibodies and 20% active human serum, we observed clear differences among the tested genetic categories: ATM-mutated samples (n = 17) represented the most sensitive, wild-type samples (n = 31) intermediate, and TP53-mutated samples (n = 27) the most resistant group (ATM-mut vs. TP53-mut: P = 0.0005 for OFA and P = 0.01 for RTX). The response correlated with distinct levels of CD20 and critical complement inhibitors CD55 and CD59; CD20 level median was the highest in ATM-mutated and the lowest in TP53-mutated samples (difference between the groups P < 0.01), while the total level of complement inhibitors (CD55 plus CD59) was distributed in the opposite manner (P < 0.01). Negligible response to both OFA and RTX was noted in all cultures (n = 10) tested in the absence of active serum, which strongly indicated that complement-dependent cytotoxicity was a principal cell death mechanism. Our study shows that (1) common genetic defects in CLL cells significantly impact a primary response to anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies and (2) ATM-mutated patients with currently poor prognosis may potentially benefit from immunotherapy targeting CD20.
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.
HMGB1 is an architectural protein in chromatin, acting also as a signaling molecule outside the cell. Recent reports from several laboratories provided evidence that a number of both the intracellular and extracellular functions of HMGB1 may depend on redox-sensitive cysteine residues of the protein. In this study we demonstrate that redox state of HMGB1 can significantly modulate the ability of the protein to bind and bend DNA, as well as to promote DNA end-joining. We also report a high affinity binding of histone H1 to hemicatenated DNA loops and DNA minicircles. Finally, we show that reduced HMGB1 can readily displace histone H1 from DNA, while oxidized HMGB1 has limited capacity for H1 displacement. Our results suggested a novel mechanism for the HMGB1-mediated modulation of histone H1 binding to DNA. Possible biological consequences of linker histones H1 replacement by HMGB1 for the functioning of chromatin are discussed.
MicroRNA (miRNA) expression is deregulated in many tumors including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although the particular mechanism responsible for their aberrant expression is not well characterized, the presence of mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in miRNA genes, possibly affecting their secondary structure and expression, has been described. In CLL, however, the impact and frequency of such variations have yet to be elucidated. Using a custom resequencing microarray, we screened sequence variations in 109 cancer related pre-miRNAs in 98 CLL patients. Additionally, the primary regions of miR-29b-2/29c were analyzed by Sanger sequencing in another cohort of 213 CLL patients. Altogether, we describe 6 novel miR-sequence variations and the presence of SNPs (n=27), most of which changed the miR-secondary structure. Moreover, some of the identified SNPs have a significantly different frequency in CLL when compared to a control population. Additionally, we identified a novel variation in miR-16-1 that had not been previously described in CLL patients. We show that this variation affects the expression of mature miR-16-1. We also show that the expression of another miRNA with pathogenetic relevance for CLL, namely miR-29b-2, is influenced by the presence of a polymorphic insertion which is more frequent in CLL than in a control population. Altogether, these data suggest that sequence variations may occur during CLL development and/or progression.
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.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients may acquire new chromosome abnormalities during the course of their disease. Clonal evolution (CE) has been detected by conventional chromosome banding (CBA), several groups also confirmed CE with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). At present, there are minimal prospective data on CE frequency determined using a combination of both methods. Therefore, the aim of our study was to prospectively assess CE frequency using a combination of FISH and CBA after stimulation with CpG oligonucleotides and interleukin-2. Between 2008 and 2012, we enrolled 140 patients with previously untreated CLL in a prospective trial evaluating CE using FISH and CBA after stimulation. Patients provided baseline and regular follow-up peripheral blood samples for testing. There was a median of 3 cytogenetic examinations (using both methods) per patient. CE was detected in 15.7% (22/140) of patients using FISH, in 28.6% (40/140) using CBA, and in 34.3% (48/140) of patients by combining both methods. Poor-prognosis CE (new deletion 17p, new deletion 11q or new complex karyotype) was detected in 15% (21/140) of patients and was significantly associated with previous CLL treatment (p=0.013). CBA provides more complex information about cytogenetic abnormalities in CLL patients than FISH and confirms that many patients can acquire new abnormalities during the course of their disease in a relatively short time period.
The ATM-p53 DNA damage response pathway plays a crucial role in chemoresistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, as indicated by the adverse prognostic impact of deletions of 17p (locus of TP53) and 11q (locus of ATM) detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis. In addition to deletions, mutations in these respective genes are also associated with chemoresistance, and add to the prognostic information provided by FISH. In order to explore the possibility that dysfunction of the ATM-p53 pathway might also result from mechanisms other than ATM/TP53 deletion/mutation, assays have been developed that probe the functional integrity of the ATM-p53 pathway. Currently, four different p53 function assays have been developed that are based on the measurement of p53 and p53-dependent genes at the RNA (real-time polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]p21; RT-PCRmiR34a; reverse transcription-multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay [RT-MLPA]p21, bax, puma and CD95) or protein (fluorescence activated cell sorting [FACS]p53-p21) level in untreated cells or following irradiation or drug treatment. Here we provide an overview of these assays based on the available literature.
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.
Sequential use of chemotherapy and reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) has been proposed to improve the treatment outcomes in patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, we present our experience with this procedure in a cohort of 60 AML patients with primary induction failure (n = 9); early, refractory, or ? second relapse (n = 41); or unfavorable cytogenetics (n = 10). A combination of fludarabine (30 mg/m²/day), cytarabine (2 g/m²/day), and amsacrine (100 mg/m²/day) for 4 days was used. After 3 days of rest, RIC was carried out, consisting of 4 Gy total body irradiation, antithymocyte globulin (ATG-Fresenius), and cyclophosphamide (fludarabine, amsacrine, and cytarabine (FLAMSA)-RIC protocol). Prophylactic donor lymphocyte infusions (pDLIs) were given in patients with complete remission (CR) and without evidence of graft-versus-host disease ?120 days after SCT. The median time of neutrophil engraftment was 17 days. CR was achieved in 47 of 60 patients (78%). Eleven patients received pDLIs resulting in long-term CR in eight of them. Non-relapse mortality after 1 and 3 years was 25 and 28%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 37 months (range, 10-69), 3-year overall survival and 3-year progression-free survival were 42 and 33%, respectively. In a multivariate analysis, dose of CD34(+) cells >5 × 10?/kg (p = 0.005; hazard ratio (HR) = 0.276), remission of AML before SCT (p = 0.044; HR = 0.421), and achievement of complete chimerism after SCT (p = 0.001; HR = 0.205) were significant factors of better overall survival. The use of the FLAMSA-RIC protocol in suitable high-risk AML patients results in a long-term survival rate of over 40%.
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.
The technology of array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH/aCGH) enabled the identification of novel genomic aberrations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) including the monoallelic and biallelic deletions affecting 22q11 locus. In contrast to previous publications, we hypothesized that the described 22q11 deletions are a consequence of the rearrangement of immunoglobulin lambda light chain locus (IGL) segments surrounding several protein-coding genes located in this region. Indeed, using array-CGH and PCR analysis we show that all deletions (n=7) affecting the 22q11 locus in our cohort (n=40) are based on the physiological mechanism of IGL rearrangement. This demonstrates that this loss of genetic material is likely not pathogenic and in fact is merely a marker of IGL rearrangement.
We developed and assessed the diagnostic value of a novel quantitative nested real-time (QNRT) PCR assay targeting the internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in a guinea pig model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Groups of 5 immunosuppressed animals that were infected using an aerosol chamber with Aspergillus fumigatus conidia were humanely terminated 1 h postinoculation and at days 3, 5, 7, and 11 postchallenge, and lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, whole blood, and serum samples were collected. The QNRT PCR results obtained with the serum and BAL fluid were compared to those achieved with galactomannan and (1?3)-?-d-glucan assays. High fungal burden levels were detected by QNRT PCR in both lung tissue and BAL fluid in all infected animals at each time point, and the sensitivity of each assay in BAL fluid was 100% by day 3 and remained so through the remainder of the study. The sensitivity of detection of fungi in whole blood and serum samples was significantly lower, and some samples remained negative by all three assays despite the advanced stage of the infection. From these data, we can conclude that this novel QNRT PCR method was highly sensitive for the detection of A. fumigatus from different types of samples in this model. In addition, BAL fluid samples appeared to be the most suitable for the early diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. When testing serum, the use of a combination of available assays may increase the possibility of early detection of this opportunistic mycosis.
Herpes virus infections represent common complications associated with respiratory tract involvement which may result in pneumonia development in immunocompromised patients. The analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid obtained from the lower respiratory tract may contribute to detection of aetiological agents of the disease. The routine use of quantitative molecular methods enables the discrimination between acute infection and viral reactivation with asymptomatic virus shedding. The aim of this review is to evaluate the contribution of BAL viral load monitoring in high-risk patients and to determine the cut-off of viral load leading to progression to herpes virus pneumonia.
Rituximab improves the outcome of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but does not completely eradicate residual B-cell populations in the microenvironment of the bone marrow and lymph nodes. Adhesion to stromal cells can protect B-cells from apoptosis induced by chemotherapy drugs [(cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR)]. A similar mechanism of resistance to rituximab has not, to our knowledge, been described. We tested the hypothesis that the microenvironment protects malignant B-cells from rituximab-induced apoptosis, and that blocking these interactions with natalizumab, an antibody targeting VLA-4 (integrin alfa-4-beta-1/CD49d), can overcome this protection. VLA-4 is an adhesion molecule constitutively expressed on malignant B-cells and is important for pro-survival signalling in the bone marrow and lymph node microenvironment. The human bone marrow stromal cell line HS-5 was shown to strongly protect B-cell lymphoma cells from rituximab cytotoxicity, suggesting the existence of a stromal cell adhesion-mediated antibody resistance (CAM-AR) mechanism analogous to CAM-DR. Natalizumab decreased B-lymphocyte adherence to fibronectin by 75-95% and partially overcame stromal protection against rituximab and cytotoxic drugs. These pre-clinical findings suggest that the addition of stromal adhesion-disruptive drugs to rituximab-containing therapy could improve treatment efficacy.
There is a distinct connection between TP53 defects and poor prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It remains unclear whether patients harboring TP53 mutations represent a homogenous prognostic group.
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.
The impact of modern prognostic markers on clinical course of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in everyday practice has been not yet well defined, especially in large series of patients. Therefore, the goal of this study was to assess the influence of conventional as well as modern prognostic factors on overall survival (OS) and time to therapy (TTT) of patients with CLL.
Elevated levels of microRNA miR-155 represent a candidate pathogenic factor in chronic B-lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). In this study, we present evidence that MYB (v-myb myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog) is overexpressed in a subset of B-CLL patients. MYB physically associates with the promoter of miR-155 host gene (MIR155HG, also known as BIC, B-cell integration cluster) and stimulates its transcription. This coincides with the hypermethylated histone H3K4 residue and spread hyperacetylation of H3K9 at MIR155HG promoter. Our data provide evidence of oncogenic activities of MYB in B-CLL that include its stimulatory role in MIR155HG transcription.
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is characterized by an indolent and relapsing course. Recently, the clinical outcome of FL has been distinguished by immune microenvironment-associated gene signatures. In our study, gene expression profiling (GEP) was performed in 31 non-selected patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), 12 of whom were in relapse and the remaining 19 newly diagnosed. A custom oligonucleotide microarray (Agilent 8?×?15K) was used which contained probes for about 3500 genes, including those that had been previously published as demonstrating significant prognostic value. An unsupervised approach was not able to recognize clinically different FLs. As the previously published prognostically relevant gene signatures could not be properly verified, probably due to microarray platform differences, template matching was therefore used in order to define two gene sets with differential gene expression among our samples. These gene sets shared an overrepresentation of genes with similar biological functions and were termed T-CELL and PROLIFERATION profiles. The poor profile was then defined by a high PROLIFERATION score (upper tertile) and/or low T-CELL score (lower tertile). The poor profile cohort contained a significantly higher proportion of relapsed cases (p?0.05, Fishers exact test). Additionally, a comparison of samples from initial diagnosis and from relapse showed significant differences mainly in the T-CELL profile (p?=?0.036; ?(2)). This supports the hypothesis that the number of T-cells and their expression pattern play a major role in FL development.
We present a method for rapid and simple detection of clinically relevant mucormycetes of the Mucorales order in cultures and clinical samples. This seminested real-time PCR uses mucormycete-specific primers and is followed by species identification using high-resolution melt (HRM) analysis. The method is highly suitable for routine clinical diagnostics.
Embryonic stem cells progress very rapidly through the cell cycle, allowing limited time for cell cycle regulatory circuits that typically function in somatic cells. Mechanisms that inhibit cell cycle progression upon DNA damage are of particular importance, as their malfunction may contribute to the genetic instability observed in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In this study, we exposed undifferentiated hESCs to DNA-damaging ultraviolet radiation-C range (UVC) light and examined their progression through the G1/S transition. We show that hESCs irradiated in G1 phase undergo cell cycle arrest before DNA synthesis and exhibit decreased cyclin-dependent kinase two (CDK2) activity. We also show that the phosphatase Cdc25A, which directly activates CDK2, is downregulated in irradiated hESCs through the action of the checkpoint kinases Chk1 and/or Chk2. Importantly, the classical effector of the p53-mediated pathway, protein p21, is not a regulator of G1/S progression in hESCs. Taken together, our data demonstrate that cultured undifferentiated hESCs are capable of preventing entry into S-phase by activating the G1/S checkpoint upon damage to their genetic complement.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by a monoclonal expansion of mature B-lymphocytes. Mutational status of the immunoglobulin variable heavy chain region (IGHV) gene stratifies CLL patients into two prognostic groups. We performed microarray analysis of CLL cells using the Agilent platform to detect the most important gene expression differences regarding IGHV status in CLL cells. We analyzed a cohort of 118 CLL patients with different IGHV mutational status and completely characterized all described prognostic markers using expression microarrays and quantitative real-time RT-PCR (reverse transcription PCR). We detected lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) as a novel prognostic marker: LAG3 high expression in CLL cells correlates with unmutated IGHV (P < 0.0001) and reduced treatment-free survival (P = 0.0087). Furthermore, quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis identified a gene-set (LAG3, LPL, ZAP70) whose overexpression is assigned to unmutated IGHV with 90% specificity (P < 0.0001). Moreover, high expression of tested gene-set and unmutated IGHV equally correlated with reduced treatment-free survival (P = 7.7 * 10(-11) vs. P = 1.8 * 10(-11)). Our results suggest that IGHV status can be precisely assessed using the expression analysis of LAG3, LPL, and ZAP70 genes. Expression data of tested markers provides a similar statistical concordance with treatment-free survival as that of the IGHV status itself. Our findings contribute to the elucidation of CLL pathogenesis and provide novel prognostic markers for possible application in routine diagnostics.
Sequence-specific DNA binding is the key function through which tumor suppressor p53 exerts transactivation of the downstream target genes, often being impaired in cancer cells by mutations in the TP53 gene. Functional protein microarray technology enables a high-throughput parallel analysis of protein properties within one experiment under the same conditions. Using an array approach, we analyzed the DNA binding activity of wild type p53 protein and of 49 variants. Our results show significant differences in the binding properties between the p53 mutants. The C-terminal mutant R337C displayed the highest DNA binding activity on the array. However, the same mutant showed only a partial activation in the reporter gene assay and almost no activation of downstream target genes after transfection of expression vector into cells lacking endogenous p53. These observations demonstrate that DNA binding itself is not sufficient for activating the p53 target genes in at least some of the p53 mutants and, therefore, in vitro studies might not always reflect in vivo conditions.
Deletion of TP53 gene, under routine assessment by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, connects with the worst prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The presence of isolated TP53 mutation (without deletion) is associated with reduced survival in CLL patients. It is unclear how these abnormalities are selected and what their mutual proportion is. We used methodologies with similar sensitivity for the detection of deletions (interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization) and mutations (yeast functional analysis) and analyzed a large consecutive series of 400 CLL patients; a subset of p53-wild-type cases (n = 132) was screened repeatedly during disease course. The most common type of TP53 inactivation, ie, mutation accompanied by deletion of the remaining allele, occurred in 42 patients (10.5%). Among additional defects, the frequency of the isolated TP53 mutation (n = 20; 5%) and the combination of 2 or more mutations on separate alleles (n = 5; 1.3%) greatly exceeded the sole deletion (n = 3; 0.8%). Twelve patients manifested defects during repeated investigation; in all circumstances the defects involved mutation and occurred after therapy. Monoallelic defects had a negative impact on survival and impaired in vitro response to fludarabine. Mutation analysis of the TP53 should be performed before each treatment initiation because novel defects may be selected by previous therapies.
The transcription program that is responsible for the pluripotency of human ESCs (hESCs) is believed to be comaintained by exogenous fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), which activates FGF receptors (FGFRs) and stimulates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. However, the same pathway is stimulated by insulin receptors, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors, and epidermal growth factor receptors. This mechanism is further complicated by intracrine FGF signals. Thus, the molecular mechanisms by which FGF-2 promotes the undifferentiated growth of hESCs are unclear. Here we show that, in undifferentiated hESCs, exogenous FGF-2 stimulated the expression of stem cell genes while suppressing cell death and apoptosis genes. Inhibition of autocrine FGF signaling caused upregulation of differentiation-related genes and downregulation of stem cell genes. Thus, exogenous FGF-2 reinforced the pluripotency maintenance program of intracrine FGF-2 signaling. Consistent with this hypothesis, expression of endogenous FGF-2 decreased during hESC differentiation and FGF-2 knockdown-induced hESC differentiation. In addition, FGF-2 signaling via FGFR2 activated MAPK kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and AKT kinases, protected hESC from stress-induced cell death, and increased hESC adhesion and cloning efficiency. This stimulation of self-renewal, cell survival, and adhesion by exogenous and endogenous FGF-2 may synergize to maintain the undifferentiated growth of hESCs.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs, which function as evolutionary conserved regulators of a gene expression. They have essential roles in development, cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis and chromosome structure. MiRNAs constitute about 3-5% of predicted genes in the human genome (i.e. about 1000); and 20-30% of the protein-coding genes are estimated to be regulated by the miRNAs. The primary evidence that miRNAs possibly act as a novel class of oncogenes/tumor-suppressors comes from the discovery of the miR-15a and miR-16-1 in 13q14 region deleted in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Moreover, miRNA signatures have been used to classify tumor types. There have recently been several reports on the miRNAs role in CLL pathogenesis and disease subtypes (according to IgV(H) mutation status). In this report, we will review the published observations and present our miRNA profiling data in aggressive CLL with TP53 abnormalities (deletion and/or mutation of p53 gene). We have identified a deregulated miRNA expression pattern (down regulation of miR-34a, miR-29 and miR-17-5p) in these samples, compared to cells with wild-type TP53. It has previously been shown that miR-34a is directly regulated by p53 and targets BCL-2, miR-29c regulates the MCL-1 and TCL-1 proto-oncogenes and the miR-17-5p targets important cell cycle regulatory molecules. Consequently, these three miRNAs could potentially play important roles in the pathogenesis of aggressive CLL.
Intracoronary cell transplantation during catheter balloon inflations may be associated with adverse events. We studied the effectiveness of an alternative transplantation technique--intracoronary cell infusion.
Topoisomerase IIalpha (topo IIalpha) is a nuclear enzyme involved in several critical processes, including chromosome replication, segregation and recombination. Previously we have shown that chromosomal protein HMGB1 interacts with topo IIalpha, and stimulates its catalytic activity. Here we show the effect of HMGB1 on the activity of the human topo IIalpha gene promoter in different cell lines. We demonstrate that HMGB1, but not a mutant of HMGB1 incapable of DNA bending, up-regulates the activity of the topo IIalpha promoter in human cells that lack functional retinoblastoma protein pRb. Transient over-expression of pRb in pRb-negative Saos-2 cells inhibits the ability of HMGB1 to activate the topo IIalpha promoter. The involvement of HMGB1 and its close relative, HMGB2, in modulation of activity of the topo IIalpha gene is further supported by knock-down of HMGB1/2, as evidenced by significantly decreased levels of topo IIalpha mRNA and protein. Our experiments suggest a mechanism of up-regulation of cellular expression of topo IIalpha by HMGB1/2 in pRb-negative cells by modulation of binding of transcription factor NF-Y to the topo IIalpha promoter, and the results are discussed in the framework of previously observed pRb-inactivation, and increased levels of HMGB1/2 and topo IIalpha in tumors.
Abnormalities of the TP53 or ATM, cooperating tumor-suppressor genes, significantly worsen the treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Although the aberrations seem to be mutually exclusive in this leukemia, inactivation of the former gene leads to worse prognosis. We tested the in vitro sensitivity of the CLL samples with heterozygous ATM deletion to fludarabine and combination of fludarabine and rituximab; the responses were compared with the TP53-abnormal and wild-type (wt) cells to delimitate relative significance of ATM deletion.
B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an incurable disease with a highly variable clinical course. A proportion of patients eventually progress to a higher stage of malignancy. A recent association has been observed between the presence of aberrant somatic hypermutations in leukemic cells (hypermutations occurring outside of the immunoglobulin locus) and the transformation to a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or prolymphocytic leukemia. In this study, we report on the rarely observed blastic transformation in a CLL patient who had previously been shown to harbor aberrant somatic hypermutations in the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene (Mol Immunol 2008;45:1525-29). The enzyme responsible, the activation-induced cytidine deaminase, was still active within the transformation, as evidenced by the ongoing class-switch recombination of cytoplasmic immunoglobulins. The transformation was accompanied by a complete p53 inactivation, as well as complex karyotype changes including prominent amplification of MYCN oncogene. Our case-study supports the view that the aberrant somatic hypermutation is associated with transformation of CLL to a more aggressive malignancy.
Mesalamine (5-ASA) is widely used for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, a remitting condition characterized by chronic inflammation of the colon. Knowledge about the molecular and cellular targets of 5-ASA is limited and a clear understanding of its activity in intestinal homeostasis and interference with neoplastic progression is lacking. We sought to identify molecular pathways interfered by 5-ASA, using CRC cell lines with different genetic background. Microarray was performed for gene expression profile of 5-ASA-treated and untreated cells (HCT116 and HT29). Filtering and analysis of data identified three oncogenic pathways interfered by 5-ASA: MAPK/ERK pathway, cell adhesion and ?-catenin/Wnt signaling. PAK1 emerged as a consensus target of 5-ASA, orchestrating these pathways. We further investigated the effect of 5-ASA on cell adhesion. 5-ASA increased cell adhesion which was measured by cell adhesion assay and transcellular-resistance measurement. Moreover, 5-ASA treatment restored membranous expression of adhesion molecules E-cadherin and ?-catenin. Role of PAK1 as a mediator of mesalamine activity was validated in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of PAK1 by RNA interference also increased cell adhesion. PAK1 expression was elevated in APC(min) polyps and 5-ASA treatment reduced its expression. Our data demonstrates novel pharmacological mechanism of mesalamine in modulation of cell adhesion and role of PAK1 in APC(min) polyposis. We propose that inhibition of PAK1 expression by 5-ASA can impede with neoplastic progression in colorectal carcinogenesis. The mechanism of PAK1 inhibition and induction of membranous translocation of adhesion proteins by 5-ASA might be independent of its known anti-inflammatory action.
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a treatment option for patients with poor-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Sequential use of chemotherapy and reduced-intensity conditioning has been proposed to improve the treatment outcomes. Fludarabine (30 mg/m(2)/day) and cytarabine (2 g/m(2)/day) for 4 days (combination of fludarabine with cytarabine; FAraC) were used for cytoreduction. After 3 days of rest, reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) was carried out consisting of 4 Gy total body irradiation, 10-20 mg/kg/day antithymocyte globulin for 3 days, and 40-60 mg/kg/day cyclophosphamide for 2 days. The median time of neutrophil engraftment was 16 days. The most frequent toxicities were grades III/IV infections in 12 of 15 cases and gastrointestinal toxicities in 8 of 15 cases. Remission (complete remission?+?partial remission) was achieved in 14 of 15 patients (93 %), minimal residual disease negativity according to flowcytometric analysis was observed in 10 patients. Nonrelapse mortality after 1 and 2 years was 7 and 13 %, respectively. After the median follow-up from SCT of 30 months, 80 % of patients were alive (12/15), three patients have died, and three relapses occurred. The FAraC-RIC protocol seems to be a promising approach to the treatment of poor-risk CLL with a high response rate of 93 % and favorable progression-free survival and overall survival of 70 and 85 % at 2 years after SCT, respectively. Other prospective clinical trials are needed to confirm the results of this novel therapeutic strategy.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is the main complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), resulting in considerable morbidity and mortality. Currently, the diagnosis of aGVHD is largely made based on clinical parameters and invasive biopsies. For the past 20 years, researchers have been trying to find reliable biomarkers to enable early and accurate diagnosis of aGVHD. Although a number of potential aGVHD biomarkers have been published, as yet, no validated diagnostic test is available. Proteomics encompasses a broad range of rapidly developing technologies, which have shown tremendous promise for early detection of aGVHD. In this article, we review the current state of aGVHD biomarker discovery, provide a summary of the key proteins of interest and the most common analytical procedures for the clinic, as well as outlining the significant challenges faced in their use.
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.
Studies of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) commonly describe the nonfunctional p53-p21 axis of the G1/S checkpoint pathway with subsequent relevance for cell cycle regulation and the DNA damage response (DDR). Importantly, p21 mRNA is clearly present and upregulated after the DDR in hESCs, but p21 protein is not detectable. In this article, we provide evidence that expression of p21 protein is directly regulated by the microRNA (miRNA) pathway under standard culture conditions and after DNA damage. The DDR in hESCs leads to upregulation of tens of miRNAs, including hESC-specific miRNAs such as those of the miR-302 family, miR-371-372 family, or C19MC miRNA cluster. Most importantly, we show that the hESC-enriched miRNA family miR-302 (miR-302a, miR-302b, miR-302c, and miR-302d) directly contributes to regulation of p21 expression in hESCs and, thus, demonstrate a novel function for miR-302s in hESCS. The described mechanism elucidates the role of miRNAs in regulation of important molecular pathway governing the G1/S transition checkpoint before as well as after DNA damage.
Mounting evidence indicates that grouping of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) into distinct subsets with stereotyped BCRs is functionally and prognostically relevant. However, several issues need revisiting, including the criteria for identification of BCR stereotypy and its actual frequency as well as the identification of "CLL-biased" features in BCR Ig stereotypes. To this end, we examined 7596 Ig VH (IGHV-IGHD-IGHJ) sequences from 7424 CLL patients, 3 times the size of the largest published series, with an updated version of our purpose-built clustering algorithm. We document that CLL may be subdivided into 2 distinct categories: one with stereotyped and the other with nonstereotyped BCRs, at an approximate ratio of 1:2, and provide evidence suggesting a different ontogeny for these 2 categories. We also show that subset-defining sequence patterns in CLL differ from those underlying BCR stereotypy in other B-cell malignancies. Notably, 19 major subsets contained from 20 to 213 sequences each, collectively accounting for 943 sequences or one-eighth of the cohort. Hence, this compartmentalized examination of VH sequences may pave the way toward a molecular classification of CLL with implications for targeted therapeutic interventions, applicable to a significant number of patients assigned to the same subset.
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is highly associated with the molecular rearrangement BCL2/IGH. Although BCL2/IGH has been studied many times in follicular lymphoma, its real clinical value remains controversial. In this study, we performed quantitative testing by real-time polymerase chain reaction in 56 FL patients with median follow-up of 44 months (range, 9-102 months); chemotherapy was administered in 52 of 56 cases. Pretreatment numbers of BCL2/IGH varied in wide ranges, with a median of 2947 (range, 0-1,261,013) copies/10(6) cellular equivalent in peripheral blood (PB) and 4650 copies/10(6) cellular equivalent (range, 1-1,056,813) in bone marrow (BM), the difference between PB and BM was significant (p = 0.006). Pretreatment of BCL2/IGH quantities were correlated to clinical parameters (e.g., age, stage, sex, lactate dehydrogenase, B symptoms, grade, bulky disease, chemotherapy regimen) and to progression free-survival. Advanced clinical stage (III and IV) and microscopic BM involvement were significantly associated with higher numbers of BCL2/IGH in PB (p < 0.05) and in BM (p = 0.05), regardless all or newly diagnosed patients were evaluated. High pretreatment burden of BCL2/IGH was associated with significantly shorter progression-free survival; p = 0.003 and p = 0.047 for PB and BM, respectively. In conclusion, pretreatment quantity of BCL2/IGH in PB or BM seems to mirror the extent of disease and can provide an auxiliary prognostic parameter in FL. Our results also support evidence of the negative prognostic value of microscopic BM involvement in FL.
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.
The significance of chromosomal translocations (CTRAs) and karyotype complexity (KC) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains uncertain. To gain insight into these issues, we evaluated a series of 1001 CLL cases with reliable classic cytogenetic data obtained within 6 months from diagnosis before any treatment. Overall, 320 cases were found to carry ?1 CTRAs. The most frequent chromosome breakpoints were 13q, followed by 14q, 18q, 17q and 17p; notably, CTRAs involving chromosome 13q showed a wide spectrum of translocation partners. KC (?3 aberrations) was detected in 157 cases and significantly (p<0.005) associated with unmutated IGHV genes and aberrations of chromosome 17p. Furthermore, it was identified as an independent prognostic factor for shorter time-to-first-treatment. CTRAs were assigned to two categories: (i) CTRAs present in the context of KC, often with involvement of chromosome 17p aberrations, occurring mostly in CLL with unmutated IGHV genes; in such cases, we found that KC rather than the presence of CTRAs per se negatively impacts on survival; (ii) CTRAs in cases without KC, having limited if any impact on survival. On this evidence, we propose that all CTRAs in CLL are not equivalent but rather develop by different processes and are associated with distinct clonal behavior.
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