[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia has a variable clinical course. Genomic aberrations identify prognostic subgroups, pointing towards distinct underlying biological mechanisms that are poorly understood. In particular it remains unclear whether the prognostic subgroups of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are characterized by different levels of leukemogenic proteins.
Expression of 23 proteins involved in apoptosis, proliferation, DNA damage, and signaling or whose genes map to chromosomal regions known to be critical in chronic lymphocytic leukemia was quantified in 185 cytogenetically well characterized cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia using immunoblotting. Cases were categorized hierarchically into deletion(17p), deletion(11q), trisomy 12, deletion(13q) as sole abnormality or normal karyotype. Statistical analysis was performed for expression differences between these subgroups. In addition, the expression levels of CDK4, P27 and P53 were quantified over the clinical course and compared to levels in immunopurified B cells from healthy individuals.
In subgroups with a good prognosis, differential expression was mainly seen for proteins that regulate apoptosis. In contrast, in cytogenetic subgroups with a worse prognosis, differential expression was mostly detected for proteins that control DNA damage and proliferation. Expression levels of CDK4, P27 and P53 were higher compared to those in B cells from healthy individuals and significantly correlated with increasing hierarchical risk. In addition, no significant longitudinal changes of expression levels of CDK4, P27 and P53 could be detected in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
Differences in expression levels of apoptosis- and proliferation-controlling proteins define distinct prognostic subgroups of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and uncover a correlation of levels of CDK4, P27 and P53 proteins with higher hierarchical risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of a critical region in 13q14.3 [del(13q)] is the most common genomic aberration in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), occurring in more than 50% of patients (Stilgenbauer et al., Oncogene 1998;16:1891 - 1897, Dohner et al., N Engl J Med 2000;343:1910 - 1916). Despite extensive investigations, no point mutations have been found in the remaining allele that would inactivate one of the candidate tumor suppressor genes and explain the pathomechanism postulated for this region. However, the genes in the region are significantly down-regulated in CLL cells, more than would be expected by gene dosage, and recently a complex epigenetic regulatory mechanism was identified for 13q14.3 in non-malignant cells that involves asynchronous replication timing and monoallelic expression of candidate tumor suppressor genes. Here, we propose a model of a multigenic pathomechanism in 13q14.3, where several tumor suppressor genes, including the miRNA genes miR-16-1 and miR-15a, are co-regulated by the two long non-coding RNA genes DLEU1 and DLEU2 that span the critical region. Furthermore, we propose these co-regulated genes to be involved in the same molecular pathways, thereby also forming a functional gene cluster. Elucidating the molecular and cellular function of the 13q14.3 candidate genes will shed light on the underlying pathomechanism of CLL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulator sequences guide the function of distantly located enhancer elements to the appropriate target genes by blocking inappropriate interactions. In Drosophila, five different insulator binding proteins have been identified, Zw5, BEAF-32, GAGA factor, Su(Hw) and dCTCF. Only dCTCF has a known conserved counterpart in vertebrates. Here we find that the structurally related factors dCTCF and Su(Hw) have distinct binding targets. In contrast, the Su(Hw) interacting factor CP190 largely overlapped with dCTCF binding sites and interacts with dCTCF. Binding of dCTCF to targets requires CP190 in many cases, whereas others are independent of CP190. Analysis of the bithorax complex revealed that six of the borders between the parasegment specific regulatory domains are bound by dCTCF and by CP190 in vivo. dCTCF null mutations affect expression of Abdominal-B, cause pharate lethality and a homeotic phenotype. A short pulse of dCTCF expression during larval development rescues the dCTCF loss of function phenotype. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of dCTCF in fly development and in the regulation of abdominal segmentation.