DNA sequencing of a cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukaemia genome.

Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 12/2008; 456(7218):66-72. DOI: 10.1038/nature07485
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acute myeloid leukaemia is a highly malignant haematopoietic tumour that affects about 13,000 adults in the United States each year. The treatment of this disease has changed little in the past two decades, because most of the genetic events that initiate the disease remain undiscovered. Whole-genome sequencing is now possible at a reasonable cost and timeframe to use this approach for the unbiased discovery of tumour-specific somatic mutations that alter the protein-coding genes. Here we present the results obtained from sequencing a typical acute myeloid leukaemia genome, and its matched normal counterpart obtained from the same patient's skin. We discovered ten genes with acquired mutations; two were previously described mutations that are thought to contribute to tumour progression, and eight were new mutations present in virtually all tumour cells at presentation and relapse, the function of which is not yet known. Our study establishes whole-genome sequencing as an unbiased method for discovering cancer-initiating mutations in previously unidentified genes that may respond to targeted therapies.

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    ABSTRACT: Self-renewal is a constitutive property of stem cells. Testing the cancer stem cell hypothesis requires investigation of the impact of self-renewal on cancer expansion. To understand better this impact, we propose a mathematical model describing dynamics of a continuum of cell clones structured by the self-renewal potential. The model is an extension of the finite multi-compartment models of interactions between normal and cancer cells in acute leukemias. It takes a form of a system of integro-differential equations with a nonlinear and nonlocal coupling, which describes regulatory feedback loops in cell proliferation and differentiation process. We show that such coupling leads to mass concentration in points corresponding to maximum of the self-renewal potential and the model solutions tend asymptotically to a linear combination of Dirac measures. Furthermore, using a Lyapunov function constructed for a finite dimensional counterpart of the model, we prove that the total mass of the solution converges to a globally stable equilibrium. Additionally, we show stability of the model in space of positive Radon measures equipped with flat metric. The analytical results are illustrated by numerical simulations.