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1.  Establishing optimal quantitative-polymerase chain reaction assays for routine diagnosis and tracking of minimal residual disease in JAK2-V617F-associated myeloproliferative neoplasms: a joint European LeukemiaNet/MPN&MPNr-EuroNet (COST action BM0902) study 
Leukemia  2013;27(10):2032-2039.
Reliable detection of JAK2-V617F is critical for accurate diagnosis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs); in addition, sensitive mutation-specific assays can be applied to monitor disease response. However, there has been no consistent approach to JAK2-V617F detection, with assays varying markedly in performance, affecting clinical utility. Therefore, we established a network of 12 laboratories from seven countries to systematically evaluate nine different DNA-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays, including those in widespread clinical use. Seven quality control rounds involving over 21 500 qPCR reactions were undertaken using centrally distributed cell line dilutions and plasmid controls. The two best-performing assays were tested on normal blood samples (n=100) to evaluate assay specificity, followed by analysis of serial samples from 28 patients transplanted for JAK2-V617F-positive disease. The most sensitive assay, which performed consistently across a range of qPCR platforms, predicted outcome following transplant, with the mutant allele detected a median of 22 weeks (range 6–85 weeks) before relapse. Four of seven patients achieved molecular remission following donor lymphocyte infusion, indicative of a graft vs MPN effect. This study has established a robust, reliable assay for sensitive JAK2-V617F detection, suitable for assessing response in clinical trials, predicting outcome and guiding management of patients undergoing allogeneic transplant.
doi:10.1038/leu.2013.219
PMCID: PMC3806250  PMID: 23860450
JAK2-V617F; qPCR standardization; MRD
4.  New Role for Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor-Induced Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 1/2 in Histone Modification and Retinoic Acid Receptor α Recruitment to Gene Promoters: Relevance to Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Cell Differentiation ▿ 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(7):1409-1418.
The induction of the granulocytic differentiation of leukemic cells by all-trans retinoic acid (RA) has been a major breakthrough in terms of survival for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients. Here we highlight the synergism and the underlying novel mechanism between RA and the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to restore differentiation of RA-refractory APL blasts. First, we show that in RA-refractory APL cells (UF-1 cell line), PML-RA receptor alpha (RARα) is not released from target promoters in response to RA, resulting in the maintenance of chromatin repression. Consequently, RARα cannot be recruited, and the RA target genes are not activated. We then deciphered how the combination of G-CSF and RA successfully restored the activation of RA target genes to levels achieved in RA-sensitive APL cells. We demonstrate that G-CSF restores RARα recruitment to target gene promoters through the activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and the subsequent derepression of chromatin. Thus, combinatorial activation of cytokines and RARs potentiates transcriptional activity through epigenetic modifications induced by specific signaling pathways.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00756-10
PMCID: PMC3135284  PMID: 21262770

Results 1-4 (4)