Medline ® Abstract for Reference 7
BCR-ABL expression in different subpopulations of functionally characterized Ph+ CD34+ cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Maguer-Satta V, Petzer AL, Eaves AC, Eaves CJ
In patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the leukemic (BCR-ABL+/Ph+) clone typically includes cells belonging to all of the myeloid lineages and frequently some B cells. From such observations it has been inferred that the initial BCR-ABL gene rearrangement event occurs in a pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell and that the clone subsequently generated is maintained by a subpopulation of neoplastic, BCR-ABL-expressing cells that retain at least some of the defining properties of normal hematopoietic stem cells. To test this hypothesis directly, we isolated various subpopulations of CD34+ cells from fresh or cryopreserved samples of peripheral blood from 5 CML patients with high white blood cell counts, 4 of which were selected because of their exclusive content of Ph+ progenitors (both colony-forming cells and long-term culture-initiating cells [LTC-IC]). Cells in each of the CD34+ subpopulations isolated were examined for the presence of BCR-ABL mRNA using a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique that reproducibly gave a positive signal from single K562 cells. BCR-ABL mRNA was detected in 117 of 147 samples (80%) in which actin mRNA was demonstrable. This included 60% to 90% of a large number of individually analyzed CD34+ cells including 46 single CD34+CD71-CD38- cells and 27 single CD34+CD71+CD38+ cells from 3 patients. In 2 of these cases, the same populationsalso contained a very high frequency of Ph+ LTC-IC. Our findings demonstrate BCR-ABL gene expression in neoplastic cells with functional as well as surface marker characteristics of very primitive normal hematopoietic cells. This implicates the BCR-ABL gene product directly in the acquisition by these cells of properties that alter their interactions with the microenvironment and deregulate their proliferation control.
Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.