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1.  The MLL recombinome of acute leukemias in 2013 
Leukemia  2013;27(11):2165-2176.
Chromosomal rearrangements of the human MLL (mixed lineage leukemia) gene are associated with high-risk infant, pediatric, adult and therapy-induced acute leukemias. We used long-distance inverse-polymerase chain reaction to characterize the chromosomal rearrangement of individual acute leukemia patients. We present data of the molecular characterization of 1590 MLL-rearranged biopsy samples obtained from acute leukemia patients. The precise localization of genomic breakpoints within the MLL gene and the involved translocation partner genes (TPGs) were determined and novel TPGs identified. All patients were classified according to their gender (852 females and 745 males), age at diagnosis (558 infant, 416 pediatric and 616 adult leukemia patients) and other clinical criteria. Combined data of our study and recently published data revealed a total of 121 different MLL rearrangements, of which 79 TPGs are now characterized at the molecular level. However, only seven rearrangements seem to be predominantly associated with illegitimate recombinations of the MLL gene (∼90%): AFF1/AF4, MLLT3/AF9, MLLT1/ENL, MLLT10/AF10, ELL, partial tandem duplications (MLL PTDs) and MLLT4/AF6, respectively. The MLL breakpoint distributions for all clinical relevant subtypes (gender, disease type, age at diagnosis, reciprocal, complex and therapy-induced translocations) are presented. Finally, we present the extending network of reciprocal MLL fusions deriving from complex rearrangements.
doi:10.1038/leu.2013.135
PMCID: PMC3826032  PMID: 23628958
MLL; chromosomal translocations; translocation partner genes; acute leukemia; ALL; AML
2.  Genomic and transcriptional landscape of P2RY8-CRLF2-positive childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Leukemia  2017;31(7):1491-1501.
Children with P2RY8-CRLF2-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia have an increased relapse risk. Their mutational and transcriptional landscape, as well as the respective patterns at relapse remain largely elusive. We, therefore, performed an integrated analysis of whole-exome and RNA sequencing in 41 major clone fusion-positive cases including 19 matched diagnosis/relapse pairs. We detected a variety of frequently subclonal and highly instable JAK/STAT but also RTK/Ras pathway-activating mutations in 76% of cases at diagnosis and virtually all relapses. Unlike P2RY8-CRLF2 that was lost in 32% of relapses, all other genomic alterations affecting lymphoid development (58%) and cell cycle (39%) remained stable. Only IKZF1 alterations predominated in relapsing cases (P=0.001) and increased from initially 36 to 58% in matched cases. IKZF1’s critical role is further corroborated by its specific transcriptional signature comprising stem cell features with signs of impaired lymphoid differentiation, enhanced focal adhesion, activated hypoxia pathway, deregulated cell cycle and increased drug resistance. Our findings support the notion that P2RY8-CRLF2 is dispensable for relapse development and instead highlight the prominent rank of IKZF1 for relapse development by mediating self-renewal and homing to the bone marrow niche. Consequently, reverting aberrant IKAROS signaling or its disparate programs emerges as an attractive potential treatment option in these leukemias.
doi:10.1038/leu.2016.365
PMCID: PMC5508072  PMID: 27899802
3.  KRAS and CREBBP mutations: a relapse-linked malicious liaison in childhood high hyperdiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Leukemia  2015;29(8):1656-1667.
High hyperdiploidy defines the largest genetic entity of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Despite its relatively low recurrence risk, this subgroup generates a high proportion of relapses. The cause and origin of these relapses remains obscure. We therefore explored the mutational landscape in high hyperdiploid (HD) ALL with whole-exome (n=19) and subsequent targeted deep sequencing of 60 genes in 100 relapsing and 51 non-relapsing cases. We identified multiple clones at diagnosis that were primarily defined by a variety of mutations in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/Ras pathway and chromatin-modifying genes. The relapse clones consisted of reappearing as well as new mutations, and overall contained more mutations. Although RTK/Ras pathway mutations were similarly frequent between diagnosis and relapse, both intergenic and intragenic heterogeneity was essentially lost at relapse. CREBBP mutations, however, increased from initially 18–30% at relapse, then commonly co-occurred with KRAS mutations (P<0.001) and these relapses appeared primarily early (P=0.012). Our results confirm the exceptional susceptibility of HD ALL to RTK/Ras pathway and CREBBP mutations, but, more importantly, suggest that mutant KRAS and CREBBP might cooperate and equip cells with the necessary capacity to evolve into a relapse-generating clone.
doi:10.1038/leu.2015.107
PMCID: PMC4530204  PMID: 25917266

Results 1-3 (3)