ResearchPad - leukemias https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Low LEF1 expression is a biomarker of early T-cell precursor, an aggressive subtype of T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13868 Early T-cell precursor (ETP) is the only subtype of acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia. Patients with ETP tend to have worse disease outcomes. ETP is defined by a series of immune markers. The diagnosis of ETP status can be vague due to the limitation of the current measurement. In this study, we performed unsupervised clustering and supervised prediction to investigate whether a molecular biomarker can be used to identify the ETP status in order to stratify risk groups. We found that the ETP status can be predicted by the expression level of Lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF1) with high accuracy (AUC of ROC = 0.957 and 0.933 in two T-ALL cohorts). The patients with ETP subtype have a lower level of LEF1 comparing to the those without ETP. We suggest that incorporating the biomarker LEF1 with traditional immune-phenotyping will improve the diagnosis of ETP.

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<![CDATA[Administration of lower doses of radium-224 to ankylosing spondylitis patients results in no evidence of significant overall detriment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11232 The use of low doses of radium-224 (224Ra) chloride for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis was stopped following the discovery that patients treated with it had a higher than control incidence of leukaemia and other cancers. This was so even though the treatment resulted in decreased pain and increased mobility–both of which are associated with decreased mortality. It was decided to re-analyze the epidemiological data looking at all causes of death. The risk of leukaemia, solid cancer, death from non-cancer causes and from all causes in a study populations of men that received either the typical dose of 5.6 to 11.1 MBq of 224Ra, any dose of 224Ra or no radium were compared using the Cox proportional hazard model. For patients that received the typical dose of 224Ra agreed with the excess cancer was similar to that reported in previous studies. In contrast, these patients were less likely to die from non-cancer diseases and from all causes of death than the control patients. No excess mortality was also found in the population of all males that received the radionuclide. It is concluded that 224Ra treatment administered at low doses to patients with ankylosing spondylitis did not impact mortality from all causes. The study demonstrates the need to consider all causes of death and longevity when assessing health impacts following irradiation.

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<![CDATA[A new highly sensitive real-time quantitative-PCR method for detection of BCR-ABL1 to monitor minimal residual disease in chronic myeloid leukemia after discontinuation of imatinib]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f1d5eed0c4846393bf

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein, encoded by the Philadelphia chromosome, have drastically improved the outcomes for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Although several real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) kits for the detection of BCR-ABL1 transcripts are commercially available, their accuracy and efficiency in laboratory practice require reevaluation. We have developed a new in-house RQ-PCR method to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in CML cases. MRD was analyzed in 102 patients with CML from the DOMEST study, a clinical trial to study the rationale for imatinib mesylate discontinuation in Japan. The BCR-ABL1/ABL1 ratio was evaluated using the international standard (IS) ratio, where IS < 0.1% was defined as a major molecular response. At enrollment, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were undetectable in all samples using a widely-applied RQ-PCR method performed in the commercial laboratory, BML (BML Inc., Tokyo, Japan); however, the in-house method detected the BCR-ABL1 transcripts in five samples (5%) (mean IS ratio: 0.0062 ± 0.0010%). After discontinuation of imatinib, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were detected using the in-house RQ-PCR in 21 patients (21%) that were not positive using the BML method. Nineteen samples were also tested using a commercially available RQ-PCR assay kit with a detection limit of IS ratio, 0.0032 (ODK-1201, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Tokyo, Japan). This method detected low levels of BCR-ABL1 transcripts in 14 samples (74%), but scored negative for five samples (26%) that were positive using the in-house method. From the perspective of the in-house RQ-PCR method, number of patients confirmed loss of MMR was 4. These data suggest that our new in-house RQ-PCR method is effective for monitoring MRD in CML.

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<![CDATA[miR-7977 inhibits the Hippo-YAP signaling pathway in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823ead5eed0c4846392f6

We and others have demonstrated that various abnormalities of the bone marrow (BM) mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) such as aberrant cytokine expression, abnormal hedgehog signaling, and impaired miRNA biogenesis are observed in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, underlying mechanisms to induce the dysfunction of BM MSCs have not yet been clarified. We previously showed that AML cells release abundant exosomal miR-7977, which, in turn, enters BM mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). However, the precise function of miR-7977 is not known. In this study, we performed transduction of a miR-7977 mimic into MSCs, compared transcriptomes between control-transduced (n = 3) and miR-7977-transduced MSCs (n = 3), and conducted pathway analysis. The array data revealed that the expression of 0.05% of genes was reduced 2-fold and the expression of 0.01% of genes was increased 2-fold. Interestingly, approximately half of these genes possessed a miR-7977 target site, while the other genes did not, suggesting that miR-7977 regulates the gene expression level directly and indirectly. Gene set enrichment analysis showed that the gene sets of Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) _up were significantly enriched (p<0.001, q<0.25), suggesting that miR-7977 modulates the Hippo-YAP signaling pathway. Visualization of pathway and network showed that miR-7977 significantly reduced the expression of Hippo core kinase, STK4. miR-7977 inactivated the Hippo-YAP signaling pathway as proven by GFP-tagged YAP nuclear trans localization and TEAD reporter assay. The miR-7977-transduced MSC cell line, HTS-5, showed elevated saturation density and enhanced entry into the cell cycle. These results suggest that miR-7977 is a critical factor that regulates the Hippo-YAP signaling pathway in BM-MSCs and may be involved in the upregulation of leukemia-supporting stroma growth.

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<![CDATA[Targeted next generation sequencing can serve as an alternative to conventional tests in myeloid neoplasms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897760d5eed0c4847d2b67

The 2016 World Health Organization classification introduced a number of genes with somatic mutations and a category for germline predisposition syndromes in myeloid neoplasms. We have designed a comprehensive next-generation sequencing assay to detect somatic mutations, translocations, and germline mutations in a single assay and have evaluated its clinical utility in patients with myeloid neoplasms. Extensive and specified bioinformatics analyses were undertaken to detect single nucleotide variations, FLT3 internal tandem duplication, genic copy number variations, and chromosomal copy number variations. This enabled us to maximize the clinical utility of the assay, and we concluded that, as a single assay, it can be a good supplement for many conventional tests, including Sanger sequencing, RT-PCR, and cytogenetics. Of note, we found that 8.4–11.6% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia and 12.9% of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms had germline mutations, and most were heterozygous carriers for autosomal recessive marrow failure syndromes. These patients often did not respond to standard chemotherapy, suggesting that germline predisposition may have distinct and significant clinical implications.

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<![CDATA[Leukemia multiclass assessment and classification from Microarray and RNA-seq technologies integration at gene expression level]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7591d5eed0c4843cfeb1

In more recent years, a significant increase in the number of available biological experiments has taken place due to the widespread use of massive sequencing data. Furthermore, the continuous developments in the machine learning and in the high performance computing areas, are allowing a faster and more efficient analysis and processing of this type of data. However, biological information about a certain disease is normally widespread due to the use of different sequencing technologies and different manufacturers, in different experiments along the years around the world. Thus, nowadays it is of paramount importance to attain a correct integration of biologically-related data in order to achieve genuine benefits from them. For this purpose, this work presents an integration of multiple Microarray and RNA-seq platforms, which has led to the design of a multiclass study by collecting samples from the main four types of leukemia, quantified at gene expression. Subsequently, in order to find a set of differentially expressed genes with the highest discernment capability among different types of leukemia, an innovative parameter referred to as coverage is presented here. This parameter allows assessing the number of different pathologies that a certain gen is able to discern. It has been evaluated together with other widely known parameters under assessment of an ANOVA statistical test which corroborated its filtering power when the identified genes are subjected to a machine learning process at multiclass level. The optimal tuning of gene extraction evaluated parameters by means of this statistical test led to the selection of 42 highly relevant expressed genes. By the use of minimum-Redundancy Maximum-Relevance (mRMR) feature selection algorithm, these genes were reordered and assessed under the operation of four different classification techniques. Outstanding results were achieved by taking exclusively the first ten genes of the ranking into consideration. Finally, specific literature was consulted on this last subset of genes, revealing the occurrence of practically all of them with biological processes related to leukemia. At sight of these results, this study underlines the relevance of considering a new parameter which facilitates the identification of highly valid expressed genes for simultaneously discerning multiple types of leukemia.

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<![CDATA[Colonization with multidrug resistant organisms determines the clinical course of patients with acute myeloid leukemia undergoing intensive induction chemotherapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52185cd5eed0c484797d9f

Introduction

The global spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) complicates treatment and isolation measures in hospitals and has shown to increase mortality. Patients with disease- or therapy-related immunodeficiency are especially at risk for fatal infections caused by MDRO. The impact of MDRO colonization on the clinical course of AML patients undergoing intensive induction chemotherapy—a potentially curative but highly toxic treatment option—has not been systematically studied.

Materials & methods

312 AML patients undergoing intensive induction chemotherapy between 2007 and 2015 were examined for MDRO colonization. Patients with evidence for MDRO before or during the hospital stay of induction chemotherapy were defined as colonized, patients who never had a positive swab for MDRO were defined as noncolonized.

Results

Of 312 AML patients 90 were colonized and 130 were noncolonized. Colonized patients suffered from significantly more days with fever, spent more days on the intensive care unit and had a higher median C-reactive protein value during the hospital stay. These findings did not result in a prolonged length of hospital stay or an increased mortality rate for colonized patients. However, in a subgroup analysis, patients colonized with carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) had a significantly reduced 60- and 90-day, as well as 1- and 2-year survival rates when compared to noncolonized patients.

Conclusion

Our analysis highlights the importance of intensive MDRO screening especially in patients with febrile neutropenia since persisting fever can be a sign of MDRO-colonization. CRE-colonized patients require special surveillance, since they seem to be at risk for death.

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<![CDATA[Cancer risk in children and young adults born preterm: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bcdd5eed0c48491e6b3

Introduction

Risk of developing a malignancy when born premature is unknown. We hypothesised that risk of certain cancers might be increased in youth born preterm versus term. We therefore performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the incidence of malignancy in the context of preterm birth, according to various cancer types.

Methods

The study was designed per MOOSE and PRISMA guidelines. Articles were identified through November 2015. Observational studies exploring the association between childhood malignancy and birth characteristics were included. Of the 1658 records identified, 109 full text articles were evaluated for eligibility. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted on 10/26 studies retained; 95% confidence intervals were computed and adjusted following sensitivity analysis. Publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots, Begg’s and Egger’s tests.

Results

No differences in risk of primary central nervous system tumor [OR 1.05; 95% CI 0.93–1.17, 5 studies, 580 cases] and neuroblastoma [OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.90–1.32, 5 studies, 211 cases] were observed in individuals born <37 versus ≥37 weeks’ gestation. Preterm birth was consistently associated with hepatoblastoma [ORs 3.12 (95% CI 2.32–4.20), 1.52 (95% CI 1.1–2.1), 1.82 (95% CI 1.01–3.26), and 2.65 (95% CI 1.98–3.55)], but not leukemia, astrocytoma, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, lymphoma, nephroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma or thyroid cancer.

Conclusions

Children born premature may be at increased risk for hepatoblastoma but there is no strong evidence of an increased risk of primary central nervous system tumours or neuroblastoma. There is insufficient evidence to conclude whether prematurity modulates the risk of other childhood cancers.

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<![CDATA[A C5a-Immunoglobulin complex in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients is associated with decreased complement activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667ced5eed0c4841a64d1

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common adult leukemia in the Western world. The therapeutic approach to CLL includes chemotherapeutic regimens and immunotherapy. Complement-mediated cytotoxicity, which is one of the mechanisms activated by the therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, depends on the availability and activity of the complement (C) system. The aim was to study the structure of circulating C components and evaluate the importance of C5 structural integrity for C activity in CLL patients. Blood samples were collected from 40 naïve CLL patients and 15 normal controls (NC). The Western blot analysis showed abnormal C5 pattern in some CLL patients, while patterns of C3 and C4 were similar in all subjects. Levels of the C activation markers sC5b-9 and C5a were quantified before and after activation via the classical (CP) and alternative (AP) pathways. In patients with abnormal C5, basal levels of sC5b-9 and C5a were increased while activities of the CP and of the CP C5-convertase, the immediate C5-upstream complex, were decreased compared to NC and to patients with normal C5. The data indicate a link between CP activation and apparent C5 alterations in CLL. This provides a potential prognostic tool that may personalize therapy by identifying a sub-group of CLL patients who display an abnormal C5 pattern, high basal levels of sC5b-9 and C5a, and impaired CP activity, and are likely to be less responsive to immunotherapy due to compromised CP activity.

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<![CDATA[Expression of CD25 fluctuates in the leukemia-initiating cell population of CD25-positive AML]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b81d5eed0c4846ebd04

CD25 is expressed on leukemic cells in 10–20% cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and its expression is associated with poor prognosis. We reevaluated the relationship between CD25 expression and the leukemia-initiating cell (LIC) properties of AML using a patient-derived xenograft model. We divided lineage marker-negative (Lin) CD34+CD38 or LinCD34+ cells from CD25-positive AML into CD25-positive and -negative populations, and then transplanted each population into NOD.Cg-PrkdcscidIl2rgtm1Wjl/Sz mice. Leukemic engraftment was observed with both CD25-positive and -negative populations from three of nine CD25-positive AML patients. In two of those three patients, CD25-positive and -negative LinCD34+ cells engrafted at the primary transplantation led to leukemic engraftment at the secondary transplantation, in which engrafted cells contained both CD25-positive and -negative LinCD34+ AML cells. In an in vitro culture system, expression of CD25 was considerably induced in the CD25-negative population of LinCD34+ cells from two cases of CD25-positive AML. In one case, CD25-positive LinCD34+ cells gave rise to CD25-negative as well as -positive CD34+ cells. These observations suggest that there exist CD25-positive and -negative populations that can reconstitute CD25-positive AML in a patient-derived xenograft model, and that CD25 expression fluctuates in the LICs of AML.

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<![CDATA[Association of HLA class I type with prevalence and outcome of patients with acute myeloid leukemia and mutated nucleophosmin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215145d5eed0c4843f96fa

Acute myeloid leukemia with mutated nucleophosmin (NPMc+ AML) forms a distinct AML subgroup with better prognosis which can potentially be associated with immune response against the mutated nucleophosmin (NPM). As the T-cell-mediated immunity involves antigen presentation on HLA class I molecules, we hypothesized that individuals with suitable HLA type could be less prone to develop NPMc+ AML. We compared HLA class I distribution in NPMc+ AML patient cohort (398 patients from 5 centers) with the HLA allele frequencies of the healthy population and found HLA-A*02, B*07, B*40 and C*07 underrepresented in the NPMc+ AML group. Presence of B*07 or C*07:01 antigen was associated with better survival in patients without concomitant FLT3 internal tandem duplication. Candidate NPM-derived immunopeptides were found for B*40 and B*07 using prediction software tools. Our findings suggest that a T-cell-mediated immune response could actually explain better prognosis of NPMc+ patients and provide a rationale for attempts to explore the importance of immunosuppressive mechanisms in this AML subgroup.

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<![CDATA[Clonal Architecture of Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia Defined by Single-Cell Sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97da4

Next-generation sequencing has been used to infer the clonality of heterogeneous tumor samples. These analyses yield specific predictions—the population frequency of individual clones, their genetic composition, and their evolutionary relationships—which we set out to test by sequencing individual cells from three subjects diagnosed with secondary acute myeloid leukemia, each of whom had been previously characterized by whole genome sequencing of unfractionated tumor samples. Single-cell mutation profiling strongly supported the clonal architecture implied by the analysis of bulk material. In addition, it resolved the clonal assignment of single nucleotide variants that had been initially ambiguous and identified areas of previously unappreciated complexity. Accordingly, we find that many of the key assumptions underlying the analysis of tumor clonality by deep sequencing of unfractionated material are valid. Furthermore, we illustrate a single-cell sequencing strategy for interrogating the clonal relationships among known variants that is cost-effective, scalable, and adaptable to the analysis of both hematopoietic and solid tumors, or any heterogeneous population of cells.

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<![CDATA[BEST: Next-Generation Biomedical Entity Search Tool for Knowledge Discovery from Biomedical Literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b993f4

As the volume of publications rapidly increases, searching for relevant information from the literature becomes more challenging. To complement standard search engines such as PubMed, it is desirable to have an advanced search tool that directly returns relevant biomedical entities such as targets, drugs, and mutations rather than a long list of articles. Some existing tools submit a query to PubMed and process retrieved abstracts to extract information at query time, resulting in a slow response time and limited coverage of only a fraction of the PubMed corpus. Other tools preprocess the PubMed corpus to speed up the response time; however, they are not constantly updated, and thus produce outdated results. Further, most existing tools cannot process sophisticated queries such as searches for mutations that co-occur with query terms in the literature. To address these problems, we introduce BEST, a biomedical entity search tool. BEST returns, as a result, a list of 10 different types of biomedical entities including genes, diseases, drugs, targets, transcription factors, miRNAs, and mutations that are relevant to a user’s query. To the best of our knowledge, BEST is the only system that processes free text queries and returns up-to-date results in real time including mutation information in the results. BEST is freely accessible at http://best.korea.ac.kr.

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<![CDATA[Transient Responses to NOTCH and TLX1/HOX11 Inhibition in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia/Lymphoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba58c6

To improve the treatment strategies of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL), further efforts are needed to identify therapeutic targets. Dysregulated expression of HOX-type transcription factors occurs in 30–40% of cases of T-ALL. TLX1/HOX11 is the prototypical HOX-type transcription factor. TLX1 may be an attractive therapeutic target because mice that are deficient in TLX1 are healthy. To test this possibility, we developed a conditional doxycycline-regulated mouse model of TLX1-initiated T-ALL. TLX1 induced T-ALL after ∼5–7 months with penetrance of 15–60%. Similar to human TLX1-type T-ALLs, the TLX1-induced tumors were arrested at the cortical stage of T-cell development and acquired activating NOTCH1 mutations. Inhibition of NOTCH signaling abrogated growth of cell lines derived from the TLX1-induced tumors. NOTCH inhibition also transiently delayed leukemia progression in vivo. Suppression of TLX1 expression slowed the growth of TLX1 tumor cell lines. Suppression of TLX1 in vivo also transiently delayed leukemia progression. We have shown that TLX1 functions as a T-cell oncogene that is active during both the induction and the maintenance phases of leukemia. However, the effect of suppressing NOTCH or TLX1 was transient. The tumors eventually “escaped” from inhibition. These data imply that the biological pathways and gene sets impacted by TLX1 and NOTCH have largely lost their importance in the fully established tumor. They have been supplanted by stronger oncogenic pathways. Although TLX1 or NOTCH inhibitors may not be effective as single agents, they may still contribute to combination therapy for TLX1-driven acute leukemia.

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<![CDATA[IRF4 Is a Suppressor of c-Myc Induced B Cell Leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac9ab0ee8fa60bb37ed

Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) is a critical transcriptional regulator in B cell development and function. We have previously shown that IRF4, together with IRF8, orchestrates pre-B cell development by limiting pre-B cell expansion and by promoting pre-B cell differentiation. Here, we report that IRF4 suppresses c-Myc induced leukemia in EμMyc mice. Our results show that c-Myc induced leukemia was greatly accelerated in the IRF4 heterozygous mice (IRF4+/−Myc); the average age of mortality in the IRF4+/−Myc mice was only 7 to 8 weeks but was 20 weeks in the control mice. Our results show that IRF4+/−Myc leukemic cells were derived from large pre-B cells and were hyperproliferative and resistant to apoptosis. Further analysis revealed that the majority of IRF4+/−Myc leukemic cells inactivated the wild-type IRF4 allele and contained defects in Arf-p53 tumor suppressor pathway. p27kip is part of the molecular circuitry that controls pre-B cell expansion. Our results show that expression of p27kip was lost in the IRF4+/−Myc leukemic cells and reconstitution of IRF4 expression in those cells induced p27kip and inhibited their expansion. Thus, IRF4 functions as a classical tumor suppressor to inhibit c-Myc induced B cell leukemia in EμMyc mice.

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<![CDATA[Selective Inhibitors of Histone Deacetylases 1 and 2 Synergize with Azacitidine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf4ab0ee8fa60bc234c

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic stem cell disorders characterized by defects in myeloid differentiation and increased proliferation of neoplastic hematopoietic precursor cells. Outcomes for patients with AML remain poor, highlighting the need for novel treatment options. Aberrant epigenetic regulation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of AML, and inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase or histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes have exhibited activity in preclinical AML models. Combination studies with HDAC inhibitors plus DNA methyltransferase inhibitors have potential beneficial clinical activity in AML, however the toxicity profiles of non-selective HDAC inhibitors in the combination setting limit their clinical utility. In this work, we describe the preclinical development of selective inhibitors of HDAC1 and HDAC2, which are hypothesized to have improved safety profiles, for combination therapy in AML. We demonstrate that selective inhibition of HDAC1 and HDAC2 is sufficient to achieve efficacy both as a single agent and in combination with azacitidine in preclinical models of AML, including established AML cell lines, primary leukemia cells from AML patient bone marrow samples and in vivo xenograft models of human AML. Gene expression profiling of AML cells treated with either an HDAC1/2 inhibitor, azacitidine, or the combination of both have identified a list of genes involved in transcription and cell cycle regulation as potential mediators of the combinatorial effects of HDAC1/2 inhibition with azacitidine. Together, these findings support the clinical evaluation of selective HDAC1/2 inhibitors in combination with azacitidine in AML patients.

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<![CDATA[Minichromosome Maintenance 2 Bound with Retroviral Gp70 Is Localized to Cytoplasm and Enhances DNA-Damage-Induced Apoptosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf3ab0ee8fa60bc1fa4

The interaction of viral proteins with host-cellular proteins elicits the activation of cellular signal transduction pathways and possibly leads to viral pathogenesis as well as cellular biological events. Apoptotic signals induced by DNA-damage are remarkably up-regulated by Friend leukemia virus (FLV) exclusively in C3H hosts; however, the mechanisms underlying the apoptosis enhancement and host-specificity are unknown. Here, we show that C3H mouse-derived hematopoietic cells originally express higher levels of the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) 2 protein than BALB/c- or C57BL/6-deriverd cells, and undergo more frequent apoptosis following doxorubicin-induced DNA-damage in the presence of the FLV envelope protein gp70. Dual transfection with gp70/Mcm2 reproduced doxorubicin-induced apoptosis even in BALB/c-derived 3T3 cells. Immunoprecipitation assays using various deletion mutants of MCM2 revealed that gp70 bound to the nuclear localization signal (NLS) 1 (amino acids 18–24) of MCM2, interfered with the function of NLS2 (amino acids 132–152), and suppressed the normal nuclear-import of MCM2. Cytoplasmic MCM2 reduced the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) leading to the subsequent hyperphosphorylation of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). Phosphorylated DNA-PK exhibited elevated kinase activity to phosphorylate P53, thereby up-regulating p53-dependent apoptosis. An apoptosis-enhancing domain was identified in the C-terminal portion (amino acids 703–904) of MCM2. Furthermore, simultaneous treatment with FLV and doxorubicin extended the survival of SCID mice bearing 8047 leukemia cells expressing high levels of MCM2. Thus, depending on its subcellular localization, MCM2 plays different roles. It participates in DNA replication in the nucleus as shown previously, and enhances apoptosis in the cytoplasm.

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<![CDATA[Redirecting Specificity of T cells Using the Sleeping Beauty System to Express Chimeric Antigen Receptors by Mix-and-Matching of VL and VH Domains Targeting CD123+ Tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db00ab0ee8fa60bc6440

Adoptive immunotherapy infusing T cells with engineered specificity for CD19 expressed on B- cell malignancies is generating enthusiasm to extend this approach to other hematological malignancies, such as acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). CD123, or interleukin 3 receptor alpha, is overexpressed on most AML and some lymphoid malignancies, such as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and has been an effective target for T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). The prototypical CAR encodes a VH and VL from one monoclonal antibody (mAb), coupled to a transmembrane domain and one or more cytoplasmic signaling domains. Previous studies showed that treatment of an experimental AML model with CD123-specific CAR T cells was therapeutic, but at the cost of impaired myelopoiesis, highlighting the need for systems to define the antigen threshold for CAR recognition. Here, we show that CARs can be engineered using VH and VL chains derived from different CD123-specific mAbs to generate a panel of CAR+ T cells. While all CARs exhibited specificity to CD123, one VH and VL combination had reduced lysis of normal hematopoietic stem cells. This CAR’s in vivo anti-tumor activity was similar whether signaling occurred via chimeric CD28 or CD137, prolonging survival in both AML and ALL models. Co-expression of inducible caspase 9 eliminated CAR+ T cells. These data help support the use of CD123-specific CARs for treatment of CD123+ hematologic malignancies.

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<![CDATA[Genomic Inverse PCR for Exploration of Ligated Breakpoints (GIPFEL), a New Method to Detect Translocations in Leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb49eb

Here we present a novel method “Genomic inverse PCR for exploration of ligated breakpoints” (GIPFEL) that allows the sensitive detection of recurrent chromosomal translocations. This technique utilizes limited amounts of DNA as starting material and relies on PCR based quantification of unique DNA sequences that are created by circular ligation of restricted genomic DNA from translocation bearing cells. Because the complete potential breakpoint region is interrogated, a prior knowledge of the individual, specific interchromosomal fusion site is not required. We validated GIPFEL for the five most common gene fusions associated with childhood leukemia (MLL-AF4, MLL-AF9, MLL-ENL, ETV6-RUNX1, and TCF3-PBX1). A workflow of restriction digest, purification, ligation, removal of linear fragments and precipitation enriching for circular DNA was developed. GIPFEL allowed detection of translocation specific signature sequences down to a 10−4 dilution which is close to the theoretical limit. In a blinded proof-of-principle study utilizing DNA from cell lines and 144 children with B-precursor-ALL associated translocations this method was 100% specific with no false positive results. Sensitivity was 83%, 65%, and 24% for t(4;11), t(9;11) and t(11;19) respectively. Translocation t(12;21) was correctly detected in 64% and t(1;19) in 39% of the cases. In contrast to other methods, the characteristics of GIPFEL make it particularly attractive for prospective studies.

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<![CDATA[Hyperforin Inhibits Akt1 Kinase Activity and Promotes Caspase-Mediated Apoptosis Involving Bad and Noxa Activation in Human Myeloid Tumor Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7aab0ee8fa60b98486

Background

The natural phloroglucinol hyperforin HF displays anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral properties of potential pharmacological interest. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells abnormally proliferate and escape apoptosis. Herein, the effects and mechanisms of purified HF on AML cell dysfunction were investigated in AML cell lines defining distinct AML subfamilies and primary AML cells cultured ex vivo.

Methodology and Results

HF inhibited in a time- and concentration-dependent manner the growth of AML cell lines (U937, OCI-AML3, NB4, HL-60) by inducing apoptosis as evidenced by accumulation of sub-G1 population, phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation. HF also induced apoptosis in primary AML blasts, whereas normal blood cells were not affected. The apoptotic process in U937 cells was accompanied by downregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, upregulation of pro-apoptotic Noxa, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, activation of procaspases and cleavage of the caspase substrate PARP-1. The general caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk and the caspase-9- and -3-specific inhibitors, but not caspase-8 inhibitor, significantly attenuated apoptosis. HF-mediated apoptosis was associated with dephosphorylation of active Akt1 (at Ser473) and Akt1 substrate Bad (at Ser136) which activates Bad pro-apoptotic function. HF supppressed the kinase activity of Akt1, and combined treatment with the allosteric Akt1 inhibitor Akt-I-VIII significantly enhanced apoptosis of U937 cells.

Significance

Our data provide new evidence that HF's pro-apoptotic effect in AML cells involved inhibition of Akt1 signaling, mitochondria and Bcl-2 members dysfunctions, and activation of procaspases -9/-3. Combined interruption of mitochondrial and Akt1 pathways by HF may have implications for AML treatment.

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