[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SCL/Tal-1 gene encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor with key roles in hematopoietic and neural development. SCL is expressed in, and required for, both primitive and definitive erythropoiesis. Thus far, we have identified only one erythroid SCL enhancer. Located 40 kb downstream of exon 1a, the +40 enhancer displays activity in primitive erythroblasts. We demonstrate here that a 3.7-kb fragment containing this element also targets expression to the midbrain, a known site of endogenous SCL expression. Although the 3.7-kb construct was active in primitive, but not definitive, erythroblasts, a larger 5.0-kb fragment, encompassing the 3.7-kb region, was active in both fetal and adult definitive hematopoietic cells. This included Ter119+ erythroid cells along with fetal liver erythroid and myeloid progenitors. Unlike two other SCL hematopoietic enhancers (+18/19 and -4), +40 enhancer transgenes were inactive in the endothelium. A conserved 400-bp core region, essential for both hematopoietic and midbrain +40 enhancer activity in embryos, relied on two GATA/E-box motifs and was bound in vivo by GATA-1 and SCL in erythroid cells. These results suggest a model in which the SCL +18/19 and/or -4 enhancers initiate SCL expression in early mesodermal derivatives capable of generating blood and endothelium, with subsequent activation of the +40 enhancer via an autoregulatory loop.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 11/2007; 27(20):7206-19. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditionally, polycythaemia has been used to identify a group of varied disorders with an increase in circulating red cells that are typified by a persistently raised haematocrit (Hct). Since only the red cell lineage is involved, the term erythrocytosis has more validity and will be used throughout this article. Polycythaemia will be retained in relation to the clonal disorder, polycythaemia vera (PV), in which three cell lineages are involved.
British Journal of Haematology 08/2005; 130(2):174-95. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stem cell leukemia (SCL) gene, also known as TAL-1, encodes a basic helix-loop-helix protein that is essential for the formation of all hematopoietic lineages, including primitive erythropoiesis. Appropriate transcriptional regulation is essential for the biological functions of SCL, and we have previously identified five distinct enhancers which target different subdomains of the normal SCL expression pattern. However, it is not known whether these SCL enhancers also regulate neighboring genes within the SCL locus, and the erythroid expression of SCL remains unexplained. Here, we have quantitated transcripts from SCL and neighboring genes in multiple hematopoietic cell types. Our results show striking coexpression of SCL and its immediate downstream neighbor, MAP17, suggesting that they share regulatory elements. A systematic survey of histone H3 and H4 acetylation throughout the SCL locus in different hematopoietic cell types identified several peaks of histone acetylation between SIL and MAP17, all of which corresponded to previously characterized SCL enhancers or to the MAP17 promoter. Downstream of MAP17 (and 40 kb downstream of SCL exon 1a), an additional peak of acetylation was identified in hematopoietic cells and was found to correlate with expression of SCL but not other neighboring genes. This +40 region is conserved in human-dog-mouse-rat sequence comparisons, functions as an erythroid cell-restricted enhancer in vitro, and directs beta-galactosidase expression to primitive, but not definitive, erythroblasts in transgenic mice. The SCL +40 enhancer provides a powerful tool for studying the molecular and cellular biology of the primitive erythroid lineage.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/2005; 25(12):5215-25. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acute phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is accompanied by secondary chromosomal changes. The additional changes have a non-random pattern; however, highly abnormal (marker) chromosomes are reported in some 20% of abnormal karyotypes. These marker chromosomes have proved to be beyond the resolution of conventional G-banding analysis. We used molecular cytogenetic techniques to determine the structure of complex chromosome markers in 10 CML-derived cell lines after our investigations of CML patients in blast crisis. Multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization identified a multitude of structural chromosome aberrations. In addition, genomic gains identified by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) were mapped to highly complex marker chromosomes in more than one cell line. The most common genomic loss detected by CGH affected chromosome 9, whereas the most common genomic gains affected, in order of frequency, the sequences of 8q, 6, and 13q. The smallest discrete amplification on 8q was identified in cell line MEG-01. This amplicon contains sequences represented by the marker D8S263/RMC08P029 but did not contain the proximal MYC gene or a more distal marker, D8S256/RMC08P025. We determined the size of the amplicon to be less than the chromosome segment 8q24.12-q24.13. The use of region- and locus-specific probes to analyze the organization of highly complex marker structures aided the identification of preferentially amplified genomic regions. The resultant amplifications could harbor gene(s) driving disease progression.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 09/2003; · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stem cell leukaemia gene (Scl) encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor with a pivotal role in both haematopoiesis and endothelial development. During mouse development, Scl is first expressed in extra-embryonic mesoderm, and is required for the generation of all haematopoietic lineages and normal yolk sac angiogenesis. Ectopic expression of Scl during zebrafish development specifies haemangioblast formation from early mesoderm. These results suggest that SCL is essential for establishing the transcriptional programme responsible for the formation of haematopoietic stem cells and have focused attention on the transcriptional regulation of Scl itself. Previous studies have identified a panel of Scl enhancers each of which directed expression to a subdomain of the normal Scl expression pattern. Among them, a 3' enhancer directed expression during development to vascular endothelium and haematopoietic progenitors but not to Ter119(+) erythroid cells. The expression in haematopoietic stem cells, however, remained undetermined. We demonstrate that this 3' enhancer directs lacZ expression in transgenic mice to most foetal and adult long-term repopulating haematopoietic stem cells, and therefore functions as a stem cell enhancer. Consistent with these results, expression in Scl(-/-) embryos of exogenous Scl driven by the stem cell enhancer rescued the formation of early haematopoietic progenitors and also resulted in normal yolk sac angiogenesis. By contrast, erythropoiesis remained markedly deficient in rescued embryos. This observation is consistent with the inactivity of the stem cell enhancer in erythroid cells and reveals an essential role for SCL during erythroid differentiation in vivo.
Development 01/2002; 128(23):4815-27. · 6.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycythaemia vera (PV) is a myeloproliferative disorder (MPD) thought to result from transformation of a haemopoietic stem cell. Transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) is a negative regulator of haemopoietic stem cells, an effect mediated by direct binding to TGF-beta receptor II (TGF-beta RII). Reduced levels of TGF-beta RII mRNA or protein have been reported in several MPDs including PV, suggesting a role for TGF-beta RII in PV. No mutational analysis of the TGF-beta RII gene has yet been performed in PV. To investigate whether genetic or epigenetic alteration of the TGF-beta RII gene contributes to the pathogenesis of PV, we performed mutation and methylation analysis in 15 PV patients. The promoter, all seven exons and all intron/exon junctions were studied using single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and heteroduplex analysis (HA). In total, three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified. These were located in the promoter, intron 2 and exon 5. No acquired mutations were detected in any patient sample. We also present a novel method, termed methylation-specific strand extension (MSSE), for the detection of methylated CpG dinucleotides. The combination of bisulphite modification and MSSE permits rapid analysis of the methylation status of CpG dinucleotides in multiple samples. We analysed the methylation status of the promoter and of a CpG island within exon 1 in 15 PV patients. No aberrant methylation was detected in either of these regions. These data demonstrate that neither mutation nor abnormal methylation of the TGF-beta RII gene is associated with the pathogenesis of PV. Furthermore, MSSE is a rapid and robust approach for assessing the methylation status of a given genomic region.
British Journal of Haematology 01/2002; 115(4):872-80. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is characterized by formation of the BCR-ABL fusion gene, usually as a consequence of the Philadelphia (Ph) translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22. Large deletions on the derivative chromosome 9 have recently been reported, but it was unclear whether deletions arose during disease progression or at the time of the Ph translocation. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis was used to assess the deletion status of 253 patients with CML. The strength of deletion status as a prognostic indicator was then compared to the Sokal and Hasford scoring systems. The frequency of deletions was similar at diagnosis and after disease progression but was significantly increased in patients with variant Ph translocations. In patients with a deletion, all Ph(+) metaphases carried the deletion. The median survival of patients with and without deletions was 38 months and 88 months, respectively (P =.0001). By contrast the survival difference between Sokal or Hasford high-risk and non-high-risk patients was of only borderline significance (P =.057 and P =.034). The results indicate that deletions occur at the time of the Ph translocation. An apparently simple reciprocal translocation may therefore result in considerable genetic heterogeneity ab initio, a concept that is likely to apply to other malignancies associated with translocations. Deletion status is also a powerful and independent prognostic factor for patients with CML. The prognostic significance of deletion status should now be studied prospectively and, if confirmed, should be incorporated into management decisions and the analysis of clinical trials.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) are a group of pre-leukaemic disorders characterized by proliferation of one or more lineages of the myelo-erythroid series. Unlike the Philadelphia chromosome in chronic myeloid leukaemia, there is no pathognomonic chromosomal abnormality associated with the MPDs. Chromosomal abnormalities are seen in 30-40% of patients with polycythaemia vera (PV) and idiopathic myelofibrosis (IMF) and seem to indicate a poor prognosis. On the other hand, chromosomal abnormalities are rare in essential thrombocythaemia. Consistent acquired changes seen at diagnosis include deletion of the long arm of chromosome 20, del(13q), trisomy 8 and 9 and duplication of parts of 1q. Furthermore del(20q), trisomy 8 and dupl(lq) all arise in multipotent progenitor cells. Molecular mapping of 20q deletions and, to some extent, 13q deletions has identified a number of candidate target genes, although no mutations have yet been found. Finally, translocations associated with the rare 8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome and other atypical myeloproliferative disorders have permitted the identification of a number of novel fusion proteins involving fibroblast growth factor receptor-1.
Bailliè re s Best Practice and Research in Clinical Haematology 10/2001; 14(3):531-51. · 2.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stem cell leukemia (SCL) gene encodes a tissue-specific basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein with a pivotal role in hemopoiesis and vasculogenesis. Several enhancers have been identified within the murine SCL locus that direct reporter gene expression to subdomains of the normal SCL expression pattern, and long-range sequence comparisons of the human and murine SCL loci have identified additional candidate enhancers. To facilitate the characterization of regulatory elements, we have sequenced and analyzed 33 kb of the SCL genomic locus from the pufferfish Fugu rubripes, a species with a highly compact genome. Although the pattern of SCL expression is highly conserved from mammals to teleost fish, the genes flanking pufferfish SCL were unrelated to those known to flank both avian and mammalian SCL genes. These data suggest that SCL regulatory elements are confined to the region between the upstream and downstream flanking genes, a region of 65 kb in human and 8.5 kb in pufferfish. Consistent with this hypothesis, the entire 33-kb pufferfish SCL locus directed appropriate expression to hemopoietic and neural tissue in transgenic zebrafish embryos, as did a 10.4-kb fragment containing the SCL gene and extending to the 5' and 3' flanking genes. These results demonstrate the power of combining the compact genome of the pufferfish with the advantages that zebrafish provide for studies of gene regulation during development. Furthermore, the pufferfish SCL locus provides a powerful tool for the manipulation of hemopoiesis and vasculogenesis in vivo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2001; 98(12):6747-52. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A range of fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques have been used to reveal hidden variant Philadelphia translocations in two cases of Ph-positive chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia. In one patient, a highly complex variant Ph translocation affecting four chromosomes had resulted in the formation of structures with the appearance of i(17q) and +8. Misinterpretation of these karyotypes has direct clinical relevance. Our findings illustrate that even established cytogenetic abnormalities may contain cryptic abnormalities beyond the resolution of conventional cytogenetic methods.
British Journal of Haematology 06/2001; 113(2):439-42. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-range comparative sequence analysis provides a powerful strategy for identifying conserved regulatory elements. The stem cell leukemia (SCL) gene encodes a bHLH transcription factor with a pivotal role in hemopoiesis and vasculogenesis, and it displays a highly conserved expression pattern. We present here a detailed sequence comparison of 193 kb of the human SCL locus to 234 kb of the mouse SCL locus. Four new genes have been identified together with an ancient mitochondrial insertion in the human locus. The SCL gene is flanked upstream by the SIL gene and downstream by the MAP17 gene in both species, but the gene order is not collinear downstream from MAP17. To facilitate rapid identification of candidate regulatory elements, we have developed a new sequence analysis tool (SynPlot) that automates the graphical display of large-scale sequence alignments. Unlike existing programs, SynPlot can display the locus features of more than one sequence, thereby indicating the position of homology peaks relative to the structure of all sequences in the alignment. In addition, high-resolution analysis of the chromatin structure of the mouse SCL gene permitted the accurate positioning of localized zones accessible to restriction endonucleases. Zones known to be associated with functional regulatory regions were found to correspond precisely with peaks of human/mouse homology, thus demonstrating that long-range human/mouse sequence comparisons allow accurate prediction of the extent of accessible DNA associated with active regulatory regions.
Genome Research 02/2001; 11(1):87-97. · 14.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have used interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (IFISH) to detect trisomy 8, trisomy 9 and 20q deletion in circulating granulocytes from patients with polycythaemia vera (PV). Out of 64 PV patients, 15 (23%) exhibited an abnormality. Two patients had trisomy 9, three had trisomy 8 and 10 patients had hemizygous deletion of D20S108 (a locus in the 20q common deleted region). Aberrant nuclei ranged from 10% to 80% in these 15 cases. There was no correlation between the presence of a marker and sex, age, interval between presentation and IFISH analysis, neutrophil or platelet count or therapy. Conventional marrow cytogenetic karyotype results were available in 23 cases and there was concurrence between these and blood IFISH in 16 cases (13 normal and three with 20q/D20S108 deletion by both methods). Three patients with D20S108 deletion by IFISH were normal by previous marrow cytogenetic testing and four cases with 20q deletion by previous marrow cytogenetics had normal blood granulocytes according to IFISH. Thus, we confirm that trisomies 8 and 9 and deletion of 20q are diagnostically useful markers of PV. IFISH analysis of blood granulocytes is a practical method for detecting these markers, but as an adjunct to, not as a substitute for, conventional marrow cytogenetics.
British Journal of Haematology 10/2000; 110(4):839-46. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deletion of the long arm of chromosome 20 represents the most common chromosomal abnormality associated with the myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) and is also found in other myeloid malignancies including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Previous studies have identified a common deleted region (CDR) spanning approximately 8 Mb. We have now used G-banding, FISH or microsatellite PCR to analyse 113 patients with a 20q deletion associated with a myeloid malignancy. Our results define a new MPD CDR of 2.7 Mb, an MDS/AML CDR of 2.6 Mb and a combined 'myeloid' CDR of 1.7 Mb. We have also constructed the most detailed physical map of this region to date--a bacterial clone map spanning 5 Mb of the chromosome which contains 456 bacterial clones and 202 DNA markers. Fifty-one expressed sequences were localized within this contig of which 37 lie within the MPD CDR and 20 within the MDS/AML CDR. Of the 16 expressed sequences (six genes and 10 unique ESTs) within the 'myeloid' CDR, five were expressed in both normal bone marrow and purified CD34 positive cells. These data identify a set of genes which are both positional and expression candidates for the target gene(s) on 20q.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transformation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from a chronic phase to an acute phase is frequently accompanied by additional chromosome changes. Extensive chromosome G-banded studies have revealed the secondary changes are nonrandom and frequently include trisomy 8, isochromosome 17q, trisomy 19, or an extra copy of the Philadelphia chromosome. In addition to these secondary chromosome changes, complex structural rearrangements often occur to form marker structures that remain unidentified by conventional G-banded analysis. The CML-derived cell line, K562, has been widely used in research since it was originally established in 1975. The K562 karyotype however, has remained incomplete, and marker structures have never been fully described. Recent advances in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technology have introduced the possibility of chromosome classification based on 24-color chromosome painting (M-FISH). In this study, we report a clarified karyotype for K562 obtained by a combination of the following molecular cytogenetic techniques: comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), FISH mapping using locus-specific probes, and M-FISH. Multicolor FISH has identified the marker structures in this cell line. The characteristic marker chromosome in K562 has been confirmed by this study to be a der(18)t(1;18). Multicolor FISH confirmed the identity of marker structures partially identified by G-banding as der(6)t(6;6),der(17)t(9;17),der(21)t(1;21),der(5)t(5;6). In addition M-FISH has revealed a deleted 20q and a complex small metacentric marker comprised of material from chromosomes 1, 6, and 20. A cryptic rearrangement was revealed between chromosomes 12 and 21 that produced a structure that looks like a normal chromosome 12 homologue by G-banding analysis. Finally, M-FISH detected regions from chromosome 13 intercalated into two acrocentric markers.
Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics 05/2000; 118(1):1-8. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hallmark of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is the BCR-ABL fusion gene, which is usually formed as a result of the t(9;22) translocation. Patients with CML show considerable heterogeneity both in their presenting clinical features and in the time taken for evolution to blast crisis. In this study, metaphase fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that a substantial minority of patients with CML had large deletions adjacent to the translocation breakpoint on the derivative 9 chromosome, on the additional partner chromosome in variant translocations, or on both. The deletions spanned up to several megabases, had variable breakpoints, and could be detected by microsatellite polymerase chain reaction in unfractionated bone marrow and purified peripheral blood granulocytes. The deletions were likely to occur early and possibly at the time of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome translocation: deletions were detected at diagnosis in 11 patients, were found in all Ph-positive metaphases, and were more prevalent in patients with variant Ph chromosomes. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a median survival time of 36 months in patients with a deletion; patients without a detectable deletion survived > 90 months. The survival-time difference was significant on log-rank analysis (P =. 006). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the prognostic importance of deletion status was independent of age, sex, percentage of peripheral blood blasts, and platelet count. Our data therefore suggest that an apparently simple, balanced translocation may result not only in the generation of a dominantly acting fusion oncogene but also in the loss of one or more genes that influence disease progression. (Blood. 2000;95:738-743)
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe here Tdr2, a new class of Tc1-like transposons in zebrafish. Tdr2 was identified from the genomic sequence of a zebrafish PAC (P1 artificial chromosome) clone, and fragments of Tdr2 were found in several zebrafish EST (expressed sequence tag) sequences. Predicted translation of the Tdr2 transposase gene showed that it was most closely related to Caenorhabditis elegans Tc3A, suggesting an ancient origin of the Tdr2 transposon. Tdr2 spans 1. 1kb and is flanked by inverted repeats of approx. 100bp. The 5' repeat is itself composed of an inverted repeat, raising the possibility of the formation of a cruciform DNA structure. Tdr2 transposons may facilitate the development of novel transposon-based tools for the genetic analysis of zebrafish.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SCL gene encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor which is expressed in early haematopoietic progenitors throughout ontogeny and is essential for the normal development of blood and blood vessels. Transgenic studies have characterised spatially distinct 5' enhancers which direct lacZ expression to subdomains of the normal SCL expression pattern, but the same elements failed to produce appropriate haematopoietic expression. We now describe an SCL 3' enhancer with unique properties. It directed lacZ expression in transgenic mice to extra-embryonic mesoderm and subsequently to both endothelial cells and to a subset of blood cells at multiple sites of embryonic haematopoiesis including the yolk sac, para-aortic splanchnopleura and AGM region. The 3' enhancer also targeted expression to haematopoietic progenitors in both foetal liver and adult bone marrow. Purified lacZ(+ )cells were highly enriched for clonogenic myeloid and erythroid progenitors as well as day-12 spleen colony forming units (CFU-S). Within the total gated population from bone marrow, 95% of the myeloid and 90% of the erythroid colony-forming cells were contained in the lacZ(+) fraction, as were 98% of the CFU-S. Activation of the enhancer did not require SCL protein. On the contrary, transgene expression in yolk sacs was markedly increased in an SCL-/- background, suggesting that SCL is subject to negative autoregulation. Alternatively the SCL-/- environment may alter differentiation of extra-embryonic mesoderm and result in an increased number of cells capable of expressing high levels of the transgene. Our data represents the first description of an enhancer that integrates information necessary for expression in developing endothelium and early haematopoietic progenitors at distinct times and sites throughout ontogeny. This enhancer provides a potent tool for the manipulation of haematopoiesis and vasculogenesis in vivo.
Development 10/1999; 126(17):3891-904. · 6.21 Impact Factor