[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosomal aberrations are a hallmark of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) but alone fail to induce leukaemia. To identify cooperating oncogenic lesions, we performed a genome-wide analysis of leukaemic cells from 242 paediatric ALL patients using high-resolution, single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and genomic DNA sequencing. Our analyses revealed deletion, amplification, point mutation and structural rearrangement in genes encoding principal regulators of B lymphocyte development and differentiation in 40% of B-progenitor ALL cases. The PAX5 gene was the most frequent target of somatic mutation, being altered in 31.7% of cases. The identified PAX5 mutations resulted in reduced levels of PAX5 protein or the generation of hypomorphic alleles. Deletions were also detected in TCF3 (also known as E2A), EBF1, LEF1, IKZF1 (IKAROS) and IKZF3 (AIOLOS). These findings suggest that direct disruption of pathways controlling B-cell development and differentiation contributes to B-progenitor ALL pathogenesis. Moreover, these data demonstrate the power of high-resolution, genome-wide approaches to identify new molecular lesions in cancer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell disorder that potentially initiates during an early stage of B-cell development. We encountered an unidentified isoform of B cell-specific activator protein (BSAP, or Pax5) in MM cells while performing differential analyses to compare mRNA expression in malignant and normal plasma cells. Pax5 is a transcription factor that plays a central role throughout B-cell development until the point of terminal differentiation. Our finding of this unique isoform prompted us to investigate Pax5 isoform usage in plasma cells and B-cell populations in other MM and healthy subjects. In contrast to normal Pax5 expression, we observed multiple isoforms of Pax5 in conjunction with low levels of expression of the full-length Pax5 in B cells from MM patients. The expressed isoforms in MM varied considerably from patient to patient, with no clear pattern. We also performed semiquantitative analyses of the mRNA expression levels of B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein (Blimp-1), because expression levels of Pax5 and Blimp-1 have been shown to be inversely correlated. We observed the expression of Blimp-1 in the B-cell populations in all 11 MM patients but in none of 11 healthy subjects. We hypothesize that premature Blimp-1 expression coupled to altered and deficient Pax5 expression causes some proliferating B cells to prematurely differentiate to plasma cells in MM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing is a crucial mechanism for generating protein diversity. Different splice variants of a given protein can display different and even antagonistic biological functions. Therefore, appropriate control of their synthesis is required to assure the complex orchestration of cellular processes within multicellular organisms. Mutations in cis-acting splicing elements or changes in the activity of constitutive or alternative splicing could have a profound regulatory proteins that compromise the accuracy of either impact on human pathogenesis, in particular in tumor development and progression. Mutations in splicing elements, for example, have been found in genes such as LKB1, KIT, CDH17, KLF6 and BRCA1, and changes in trans-acting regulators can affect the expression of genes such as Ron, RAC1 and CD44.
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