[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) gene encodes a transcription factor important for normal cellular development and cell survival. The initial discovery of WT1 as the causative gene in an autosomal-recessive condition identified it as a tumor suppressor gene whose mutations are associated with urogenital disease and the development of kidney tumors. However, this view is not in keeping with the frequent finding of wild-type, full-length WT1 in human leukemia, breast cancer and several other cancers including the majority of Wilms' tumors. Rather, these observations suggest that in those conditions, WT1 has an oncogenic role in tumor formation. In this review, we explore the literature supporting both views of WT1 in human cancer and in particular human leukemias. To understand the mechanism by which WT1 can do this, we will also examine its functional activity as a transcription factor and the influence of protein partners on its dual behavior.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eosinophils function primarily as secretory cells and phagocytosis by eosinophils is rarely seen. We describe a case of chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL) in a 72-year-old male with a history of previously treated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) presenting with erythrophagocytosis by eosinophils and an associated autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA). This patient did not show evidence of relapsed NHL. The patient's blood showed a markedly elevated eosinophil count of 16 x 10(9)/L [normal 0-0.45 x 10(9)/L] on a background of myelodysplasia and features of AIHA. Prominent erythrophagocytosis by eosinophils was visualized in the blood and in the bone marrow. Numerous Charcot-Leyden crystals were also seen in the bone marrow amid increased numbers of eosinophils and the presence of dysplastic granulopoiesis. AIHA is rarely described in the setting of CEL. More significantly, this represents the first case report to describe erythrophagocytosis by eosinophils.
American Journal of Hematology 06/2006; 81(6):458-61. DOI:10.1002/ajh.20601 · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) may be classified in a number of ways. Using the French American British classification, the M3 form of the disease or acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has been found to be sensitive in vitro and in vivo to the retinoid all trans retinoic acid (ATRA). The mechanism for this is by restoration of normal gene expression through the release of histone deacetylase complexes (HDACs). In contrast to APL, other forms of AML are either nonresponsive or show blunted responses to ATRA. We evaluated if the inhibitor of HDAC activity, valproic acid (VPA), could mimic or enhance retinoid sensitivity in the AML cell line, OCI/AML-2, and clinical samples derived from patients with AML. An Affymetrix GeneChip experiment demonstrated that VPA modulated the expression of numerous genes in OCI/AML-2 cells that were not affected by ATRA including p21, a retinoid responsive gene in APL. VPA induced p21 expression in OCI/AML-2 cells and the majority of the AML samples tested; this was associated with cell cycle arrest and apoptosis not seen with ATRA alone. The addition of ATRA to VPA accentuated many of these responses, supporting the potential beneficial combination of these drugs in the treatment of AML.