[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infant leukaemia is an embryonal disease in which the underlying MLL translocations initiate in utero. Zebrafish offer unique potential to understand how MLL impacts haematopoiesis from the earliest embryonic timepoints and how translocations cause leukaemia as an embryonal process. In this study, a zebrafish mll cDNA syntenic to human MLL spanning the 5' to 3' UTRs, was cloned from embryos, and mll expression was characterized over the zebrafish lifespan. The protein encoded by the 35-exon ORF exhibited 46·4% overall identity to human MLL and 68-100% conservation in functional domains (AT-hooks, SNL, CXXC, PHD, bromodomain, FYRN, taspase1 sites, FYRC, SET). Maternally supplied transcripts were detected at 0-2 hpf. Strong ubiquitous early zygotic expression progressed to a cephalo-caudal gradient during later embryogenesis. mll was expressed in the intermediate cell mass (ICM) where primitive erythrocytes are produced and in the kidney where definitive haematopoiesis occurs in adults. mll exhibits high cross species conservation, is developmentally regulated in haematopoietic and other tissues and is expressed from the earliest embryonic timepoints throughout the zebrafish lifespan. Haematopoietic tissue expression validates using zebrafish for MLL haematopoiesis and leukaemia models.
British Journal of Haematology 02/2011; 152(3):307-21. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Human AF9 (alias MLLT3) gene was initially identified as one of the most common translocation partners of MLL associated with acute myeloid leukemia. More recently it has been demonstrated that AF9 can be a positive regulator of early erythroid/megakaryocytic lineage decisions. However, many biological functions of AF9 and its role in leukemia remain unclear. Here, we aimed to identify the zebrafish homologue of human AF9 and to analyze its function using the zebrafish model system. Methods and Results: A single zebrafish af9 gene was identified by homology searching at zebrafish genome database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/). The putative af9 protein showed 60% identity and 73% similarity to human counterpart. These results from the perspective of phylogenetic and synteny analyses indicated that zebrafish af9 was the likely homologue of human AF9. We used whole-mount in situ hybridization to analyzed its spatial and temporal expression patterns during embryonic development. Af9 was expressed specifically in the posterior-lateral mesoderm at the 5-somite stage and in the intermediate cell mass (ICM, site of primitive hematopoiesis) between 18 to 24 hours post fertilization (hpf). In order to characterize the role of af9 in early hematopoietic development, we performed over-expression and loss-of- function experiments in zebrafish embryos, and then analyzed various hematopoietic markers by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Inducing ectopic af9 expression by mRNA injection we found an increased expression of gata1 and hbae1 (erythroid markers) and reduced expression of runx1, scl, lmo2, c-myb (stem cell/precursor associated markers) as well as pu.1 and l-plastin (myeloid markers) at 22 hpf-old embryos. Conversely af9 loss-of-function obtained using anti-sense morpholinos showed decreased expression of gata1 and hbae1 mRNA, while pu.1 and l-plastin increased their expression in morphant embryos at 22 hpf. The same morphants did not show any appreciable change in stem cell/precursor marker expression. Conclusion: The finding that gata1 expression is controlled by af9 suggests that this gene might promote the erythroid development in zebrafish primitive hematopoiesis. As the genetic programs of AF9 are evolutionary conserved between human and zebrafish, these findings provide new insights and opening further
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CREB has been described as critical for leukemia progress. We investigated CREB expression in ALL and AML pediatric patients. CREB protein was significantly high (p<0.001) at diagnosis but not during remission. This study underlines the role of CREB in leukemia and suggests new insights into the transformation process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More than 15 years after observations of an association between a distinct form of leukemia characterized by balanced chromosomal translocations involving band 11q23 and introduction of epipodophyllotoxins into clinical usage for anti-cancer treatment in the late1980s, the translocation mechanism is still debated. Epipodophyllotoxins and other anticancer drugs that have been linked to leukemias with various balanced translocations as a treatment complication share the property of being topoisomerase II poisons. In the early 1990s the MLL (ALL-1, HRX, hTRX1) gene was cloned by several groups at the genomic breakpoint junctions of translocations disrupting chromosome band 11q23. This paper will review evidence in favor of the hypothesis that topoisomerase II cleavage complexes induced by poisons of this enzyme damage DNA directly and lead to translocations in secondary leukemias with MLL translocations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An 18-month-old girl was diagnosed with pre-pre-B ALL/t(4;11) leukemia, which during the treatment and after matched bone marrow transplantation (BMT), underwent two consecutive switches from lymphoid to myeloid lineage and vice versa. The high expression of HOXA9 and FLT3 genes remaining genotypically stable in a leukemia throughout phenotypic switches, suggests that this leukemia may have originated as a common B/myeloid progenitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variations of the immunogenotype and TEL deletions in children with TEL-AML1+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia support the hypothesis that relapses derive from a persistent TEL-AML1+ preleukemic/leukemic clone rather than a resistant leukemia. We aimed at elucidating the relationship between the immunogenotype patterns at diagnosis and relapse as well as their clinical and biological relevance.
Immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor gene rearrangements were analyzed in 41 children with a TEL-AML1+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia and an early (up to 30 months after diagnosis; n = 12) or late (at 30 months or later; n = 29) disease recurrence by a standardized PCR approach.
In 68% of the patients (group I), we identified differences in the immunogenotype patterns, whereas no changes were observed in the remaining 32% (group II). The divergence resulted more often from clonal selection than clonal evolution and consisted predominantly of losses (0-6, median 5) and/or gains (0-4, median 1) of rearrangements. The frequency and number of clonal immunoglobulin/T-cell receptor rearrangements in group I was higher at diagnosis (2-13, median 5) than at relapse (2-7, median 4), whereas it was the lowest in group II (1-5, median 3). Although group I children were younger at diagnosis, there was no correlation between particular immunogenotype patterns and remission duration.
These findings imply that the clonal heterogeneity in younger children most likely reflects an ongoing high recombinatorial activity in the preleukemic/leukemic cells, whereas the more uniform repertoire observed in older children mirrors end-stage rearrangement patterns of selected cell clones that evolved during the prolonged latency period.
Clinical Cancer Research 12/2005; 11(21):7720-7. · 8.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A patient with congenital liver fibrosis revealed a high transferrin saturation index and iron overload on liver biopsy. He did not carry the most frequent HFE mutations: C282Y or H63D. Heterozygosity was detected for S65C. Unknown HFE mutations were also sought using a combined denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC)/direct sequence approach and another point mutation, a transition T-C (nt 4910), at the fourth base of the donor splice site of intron 2 [HFE, intervening sequence (IVS) 2, T-C +4] was found. Family screening revealed that a daughter carried both S65C and [IVS2, T-C +4]. CONCLUSION:: The existence in our proband of a partly-altered HFE protein in the region encoded by exon 2 might be responsible for the histologically-demonstrated iron overload.
Hepatology Research 10/2005; 33(1):57-60. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of minimal residual disease (MRD), using immunoglobulin (Ig) and T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements as clone-specific targets, represents the most recent development in diagnosis and treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Nevertheless, risk of false-negative results, due to secondary or ongoing rearrangements of Ig/TCR genes during the disease course, might hamper MRD detection. Therefore, to gain extensive information on clonal stability, we performed PCR-GeneScan analysis of Ig/TCR gene rearrangements at diagnosis and subsequent relapse in bone marrow samples from 53 childhood precursor-B-ALL patients. In addition, sequencing analysis of junctional regions at diagnosis and relapse provided a detailed insight in the stability and changes of Ig/TCR gene rearrangements during the disease course. At least one stable clonal Ig/TCR target was found in 94% of patients. In three patients complete differences in Ig/TCR rearrangements between diagnosis and relapse were observed, suggesting relapse with a new clone. At relapse, 71% of diagnostic clonal PCR targets was conserved. Since the comparison of Ig/TCR gene rearrangements at diagnosis and relapse in our precursor-B-ALL patients did not show significant difference in the stability of different clonal PCR targets (IGH, 70%; IGK, 71%; TCRD, 67%; TCRG, 75%), we conclude that there is no 'preferential' clone-specific target for MRD monitoring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori infection outcome might depend on genotypic polymorphisms of both the bacterium and the host. We ascertained: (1) the functionality of H. pylori oipA gene; (2) the polymorphism of the hostinterleukin (IL-1beta) gene (-31 C/T) and of the IL-1RN gene (intron 2 VNTR); (3) the association between the above genes and the histological and pathological outcome of H. pylori infection. One hundred and sixty-five H. pylori positive and 137 H. pylori negative subjects (23 gastric adenocarcinoma, 58 peptic ulcer, 221 gastritis) were studied. oipA was sequenced, IL-1beta was RFLP analysed. Antral and body mucosal biopsies were histologically evaluated. Functional oipA genes were correlated with cagA gene; both genes were significantly associated with gastritis activity, peptic ulcer and gastric adenocarcinoma. In these patients heterozygousIL-1RN 1/2 and IL-1beta C/T genotypes were more frequent than in gastritis patients. Intestinal metaplasia was associated with cagA, functional oipA and IL-1RN 2 allele. In conclusion, peptic ulcer and the preneoplastic intestinal metaplasia are associated with H. pylori virulence genes and with IL-1RN 2 host allele. An interplay between bacterial virulence factors and cytokines genotypes, is probably the main route causing H. pylori infection to lead to benign mild disease, benign severe disease or preneoplastic lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection of clonal T-cell receptor (TCR) gamma and delta gene rearrangements is widely used in clonality assessment of lymphoid leukemias and lymphomas and for detection of minimal residual disease of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Standard analyses for clonality assessment include Southern blotting or PCR-based detection of clonal TCR gene rearrangements. The latter consist of heteroduplex PCR analysis by separation of PCR products on non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel (PAGE). We describe a rapid and sensitive method to identify specific clonal rearrangements in PCR fragments obtained by amplification of TCRgamma and TCRdelta genes.
We applied a semi-automated electrophoretic technique (PhastSystem , Amersham Pharmacia Biotech) and compared it with standard homo-heteroduplex analysis in 21 cases of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The results obtained for each sample analyzed by standard homo-heteroduplex detection were completely reproduced by the PhastSystem approach.
We conclude that heteroduplex analysis of TCR gene rearrangements using the semi-automated PhastSystem is a simple, rapid, cheap and highly reproducible method which can be used as an alternative to traditional analysis for detection of clonality.