ZAP70

Gene Summary

Gene:ZAP70; zeta-chain (TCR) associated protein kinase 70kDa
Aliases: SRK, STD, TZK, STCD, ZAP-70
Location:2q12
Summary:This gene encodes an enzyme belonging to the protein tyrosine kinase family, and it plays a role in T-cell development and lymphocyte activation. This enzyme, which is phosphorylated on tyrosine residues upon T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) stimulation, functions in the initial step of TCR-mediated signal transduction in combination with the Src family kinases, Lck and Fyn. This enzyme is also essential for thymocyte development. Mutations in this gene cause selective T-cell defect, a severe combined immunodeficiency disease characterized by a selective absence of CD8-positive T-cells. Two transcript variants that encode different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tyrosine-protein kinase ZAP-70
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (5)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • VDJ Recombinases
  • Gene Expression
  • Messenger RNA
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RTPCR
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Tumor Markers
  • Trisomy
  • Disease Progression
  • Up-Regulation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain
  • Staging
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • ZAP70
  • Signal Transduction
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • FISH
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • MicroRNAs
  • Cohort Studies
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Survival Rate
  • Mutation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Antigens, CD38
  • Chromosome 2
  • Immunophenotyping
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ZAP70 (cancer-related)

Liao Z, Zhou L, Wang C, et al.
Characteristics of TCRζ, ZAP-70, and FcɛRIγ gene expression in patients with T- and NK/T-cell lymphoma.
DNA Cell Biol. 2015; 34(3):201-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
Abnormal expression of key signaling molecules and defective T-cell function play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of T-cell immunodeficiency in hematological malignancies. To understand the molecular basis of T-cell signaling abnormalities and TCRζ chain deficiencies in T- and NK/T-cell lymphoma, the expression level of the TCRζ, ZAP-70, and FcɛRIγ genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 25 patients with T-cell lymphoma, 16 patients with NK/T-cell lymphoma (NK/T-CL), and 26 healthy individuals was determined. In addition, their relationship with disease stage and TCRζ 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) splice variants was analyzed in this study. The expression level of all three genes was significantly altered with disease progression, and a decreasing trend was found in patients compared with healthy controls. TCRζ and ZAP-70 were significantly positively related in all samples, and a negative relationship between TCRζ and FcɛRIγ was significantly lost in NK/T-CL patients. Moreover, distinct expression patterns were defined for patient groups with different TCRζ 3'UTR isoforms. In conclusion, a lower expression pattern for all three genes may indicate a weaker immune status based on reduced TCRζ and ZAP-70 expression without the complementary effects of FcɛRIγ, while aberrant TCRζ 3'UTR splicing may contribute to T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling regulation in T cells from patients with T- and NK/T-cell lymphoma.

Lee KA, Bae EA, Song YC, et al.
A multimeric carcinoembryonic antigen signal inhibits the activation of human T cells by a SHP-independent mechanism: a potential mechanism for tumor-mediated suppression of T-cell immunity.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(11):2579-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a well-known tumor antigen that is found in the serum of patients with various cancers and is correlated with an increased risk of cancer recurrence and metastasis. To understand the tumor environment and to develop antitumor therapies, CEA has been studied as an antigen to activate/tolerate specific T cells. In this study, we show that CEA can function as a coinhibitory molecule and can inhibit the activation of human peripheral blood mononucleated cell-derived T cells. The addition of CEA-overexpressing tumor cells or immobilized CEA dampened both cell proliferation and the expression of IL-2 and CD69 expression in T cells after TCR stimulation. The phosphorylation of ERK and translocation of NFAT were hampered in these cells, whereas the phosphorylation of proximal TCR signaling molecules such as ZAP70 and phospholipase Cγ was not affected by immobilized CEA. To determine the relevance of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule-1 and Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase (SHP) molecules to CEA-mediated suppression, we tested the effect of the SHP inhibitor, NSC-87877, on CEA-mediated suppression of T cells; however, it did not reverse the effect of CEA. Collectively, these results indicate that CEA can function as a modulator of T-cell responses suggesting a novel mechanism of tumor evasion.

Ručka Z, Koutná I, Tesařová L, et al.
Intravenous insulin therapy during lung resection does not affect lung function or surfactant proteins.
BMC Pulm Med. 2014; 14:155 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The surgical resection of lung disrupts glucose homeostasis and causes hyperglycemia, as in any other major surgery or critical illness. We performed a prospective study where we carefully lowered hyperglycemia by insulin administration during the surgery, and for the first time we monitored immediate insulin effects on lung physiology and gene transcription.
METHODS: The levels of blood gases (pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3-, HCO3- std, base excess, FiO2, and pO2/FiO2) were measured at the beginning of surgery, at the end of surgery, and two hours after. Samples of healthy lung tissue surrounding the tumour were obtained during the surgery, anonymized and sent for subsequent blinded qPCR analysis (mRNA levels of surfactant proteins A1, A2, B, C and D were measured). This study was done on a cohort of 64 patients who underwent lung resection. Patients were randomly divided, and half of them received insulin treatment during the surgery.
RESULTS: We demonstrated for the first time that insulin administered intravenously during lung resection does not affect levels of blood gases. Furthermore, it does not induce immediate changes in the expression of surfactant proteins.
CONCLUSION: According to our observations, short insulin treatment applied intravenously during resection does not affect the quality of breathing.

Parikh SA, Shanafelt TD
Risk factors for Richter syndrome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2014; 9(3):294-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Richter syndrome (RS) is defined as the transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to a more aggressive B-cell lymphoma, most commonly diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Approximately 5-10% of CLL patients develop this complication during long-term follow-up. Traditional risk factors for future RS include clinical (advanced Rai stage), biological (ZAP-70, CD38, CD49d) and genetic (del17p, del11q) characteristics at the time of CLL diagnosis. The impact of CLL therapy (purine-nucleoside analogue and/or alkylator-based chemoimmunotherapy and kinase inhibitor therapy) on the risk of RS remains controversial. Both heritable (germline) and acquired (somatic) genetic mutations contribute to risk of RS. Germline polymorphisms in genes related to CD38, LRF4, and BCL-2 have been implicated in the development of RS. Somatic mutations contributing to the development of RS include TP53 disruption, c-myc activation, CDKN2A loss and NOTCH1 mutations. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the biological and genetic factors contributing to RS in CLL patients.

Vrbacky F, Nekvindova J, Rezacova V, et al.
Prognostic relevance of angiopoietin-2, fibroblast growth factor-2 and endoglin mRNA expressions in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Neoplasma. 2014; 61(5):585-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Elevated levels of circulating angiogenic cytokines and increased expression of genes encoding angiogenic factors have been reported in recent years in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but data regarding prognostic and predictive significance are still limited. Therefore, in the present study based upon our prior pilot results, we measured mRNA expressions of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and endoglin (CD105) by reverse transcription quantitative PCR in purified CD19+ cells from 70 untreated CLL patients (median age, 63 years; males, 64%; Rai III/IV stages, 29 %; unmutated IgVH genes, 60 %) and evaluated their possible association with established prognostic factors and clinical course of the disease. Higher expression of Ang-2 was significantly associated with unmutated IgVH genes (n = 55, p = 0.003). Higher CD105 expression was significantly associated with unmutated IgVH genes (n = 55, p < 0.001), high CD38 expression (n = 66, p = 0.022), high ZAP-70 expression (n = 66, p = 0.010), Rai stage I-IV (n = 70, p < 0.001), progressive clinical course of CLL (n = 70, p = 0.001) and shorter time to treatment (n = 70; p < 0.001). Expression of FGF-2 was not significantly associated with any of the prognostic markers. These results indicate that elevated expression of Ang-2 and in particular CD105 by CLL cells is associated with unfavorable prognostic features and clinical outcome; thus, both cytokines appear to play an important role in biology and progression of CLL and warrant further investigation.

Przybyl J, Kozak K, Kosela H, et al.
Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood cells: new insights into Ewing sarcoma biology and clinical applications.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(8):109 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a group of highly aggressive small round cell tumors of bone or soft tissue with high metastatic potential and low cure rate. ES tumors are associated with a rapid osteolysis and necrosis. The currently accepted clinical prognostic parameters do not accurately predict survival of high-risk patients. Moreover, neither the subtype of EWS-FLI1/ERG in the tumor, nor the detection of fusion transcripts in the peripheral blood (PB) samples, has prognostic value in ES patients. We evaluated the prevalence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 34 adult ES patients. Since CTCs were confirmed in only small subset of patients, we further explored the expression profiles of PB leukocytes using a panel of genes associated with immune system status and increased tumor invasiveness. Moreover, we analyzed the alterations of the routine blood tests in the examined cohort of patients and correlated our findings with the clinical outcome. A uniform decrease in ZAP70 expression in PB cells among all ES patients, as compared to healthy individuals, was observed. Monocytosis and the abnormal expression of CDH2 and CDT2 genes in the PB cells significantly correlated with poor prognosis in ES patients. Our study supports the previously proposed hypothesis of systemic nature of ES. Based on the PB cell expression profiles, we propose a mechanism by which immune system may be involved in intensification of osteoclastogenesis and disease progression in ES patients. Moreover, we demonstrate the prognostic value of molecular PB testing at the time of routine histopathological diagnosis.

Wiggers TG, Westra G, Westers TM, et al.
ZAP70 in B-CLL cells related to the expression in NK cells is a surrogate marker for mutational status.
Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2014; 86(4):280-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The strongest prognostic factor in chronic B-cell lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the mutational status of the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) genes. Determination of this mutational status is laborious and therefore not applied in routine diagnostics. A search for "surrogate markers" has been conducted over the past few years. One of the most promising surrogate markers is ZAP70, but standardization of the measurement of ZAP70 has proven to be difficult. Conventionally, ZAP70 expression in CLL cells is related to ZAP70 expression in T cells. We propose a new method in which ZAP70 expression in NK cells is used as reference (new NK-MFI method). We have measured ZAP70 expression in samples of 45 previously untreated CLL patients. ZAP70 in CLL cells related to ZAP70 in NK cells correlated better to cytogenetic risk profile and mutational status than the conventional methods. Negativity of both ZAP70 (new NK-MFI method) and CD38 resulted in a probability of 90% for mutated IGHV genes. In conclusion, ZAP70 expression in CLL cells related to ZAP70 expression in NK cells is a better surrogate marker for mutational status than the conventional T cell related methods.

Bo MD, Del Principe MI, Pozzo F, et al.
NOTCH1 mutations identify a chronic lymphocytic leukemia patient subset with worse prognosis in the setting of a rituximab-based induction and consolidation treatment.
Ann Hematol. 2014; 93(10):1765-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Induction therapy with fludarabine followed by rituximab and consolidation plus maintenance with rituximab improved response duration (RD) and overall survival (OS) in our patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The aim of our study was to investigate the clinical impact of NOTCH1 mutations in this setting of patients. The study included 123 progressive CLL patients homogeneously assigned to first-line induction treatment with fludarabine followed by rituximab. Fifty-nine patients either in complete remission (CR) minimal residual disease positive (MRD+) after induction (n = 39) or in partial remission (PR, n = 20) underwent consolidation/maintenance therapy with rituximab. Sixteen patients in CR MRD + or PR underwent observation only. The presence of NOTCH1 mutations was investigated by amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) PCR and by Sanger sequencing. NOTCH1 mutations occurred in 20 out of 123 (16.3 %) cases. Consolidated patients showed longer OS than unconsolidated patients (p = 0.030). Both NOTCH1 mutated and CR MRD+ or PR NOTCH1 mutated patients showed significantly shorter OS after treatment (p = 0.00014 and p = 0.0021, respectively). Moreover, NOTCH1 wild-type consolidated cases experienced significantly longer RD and OS than NOTCH1 mutated consolidated or not consolidated cases (p = 0.00001 and p = 0.018, respectively). Finally, the independent prognostic impact of NOTCH1 mutations for OS was confirmed in multivariate analysis (p < 0.001). The presence of NOTCH1 mutations identifies a CLL subset with worse prognosis in the setting of a rituximab-based induction and consolidation treatment.

Cui B, Chen L, Zhang S, et al.
MicroRNA-155 influences B-cell receptor signaling and associates with aggressive disease in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Blood. 2014; 124(4):546-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
High-level leukemia cell expression of micro-RNA 155 (miR-155) is associated with more aggressive disease in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), including those cases with a low-level expression of ζ-chain-associated protein of 70 kD. CLL with high-level miR-155 expressed lower levels of Src homology-2 domain-containing inositol 5-phosphatase 1 and were more responsive to B-cell receptor (BCR) ligation than CLL with low-level miR-155. Transfection with miR-155 enhanced responsiveness to BCR ligation, whereas transfection with a miR-155 inhibitor had the opposite effect. CLL in lymphoid tissue expressed higher levels of miR155HG than CLL in the blood of the same patient. Also, isolated CD5(bright)CXCR4(dim) cells, representing CLL that had been newly released from the microenvironment, expressed higher levels of miR-155 and were more responsive to BCR ligation than isolated CD5(dim)CXCR4(bright) cells of the same patient. Treatment of CLL or normal B cells with CD40-ligand or B-cell-activating factor upregulated miR-155 and enhanced sensitivity to BCR ligation, effects that could be blocked by inhibitors to miR-155. This study demonstrates that the sensitivity to BCR ligation can be enhanced by high-level expression of miR-155, which in turn can be induced by crosstalk within the tissue microenvironment, potentially contributing to its association with adverse clinical outcome in patients with CLL.

Mraz M, Chen L, Rassenti LZ, et al.
miR-150 influences B-cell receptor signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia by regulating expression of GAB1 and FOXP1.
Blood. 2014; 124(1):84-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
We examined the microRNAs (miRNAs) expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and identified miR-150 as the most abundant, but with leukemia cell expression levels that varied among patients. CLL cells that expressed ζ-chain-associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP-70) or that used unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) genes, each had a median expression level of miR-150 that was significantly lower than that of ZAP-70-negative CLL cells or those that used mutated IGHV genes. In samples stratified for expression of miR-150, CLL cells with low-level miR-150 expressed relatively higher levels of forkhead box P1 (FOXP1) and GRB2-associated binding protein 1 (GAB1), genes with 3' untranslated regions having evolutionary-conserved binding sites for miR-150. High-level expression of miR-150 could repress expression of these genes, which encode proteins that enhance B-cell receptor signaling, a putative CLL-growth/survival signal. Also, high-level expression of miR-150 was a significant independent predictor of longer treatment-free survival or overall survival, whereas an inverse association was observed for high-level expression of GAB1 or FOXP1 for overall survival. This study demonstrates that expression of miR-150 can influence the relative expression of GAB1 and FOXP1 and the signaling potential of the B-cell receptor, thereby possibly accounting for the noted association of expression of miR-150 and disease outcome.

Martínez-Trillos A, Pinyol M, Navarro A, et al.
Mutations in TLR/MYD88 pathway identify a subset of young chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with favorable outcome.
Blood. 2014; 123(24):3790-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in Toll-like receptor (TLR) and myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MYD88) genes have been found in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) at low frequency. We analyzed the incidence, clinicobiological characteristics, and outcome of patients with TLR/MYD88 mutations in 587 CLL patients. Twenty-three patients (3.9%) had mutations, 19 in MYD88 (one with concurrent IRAK1 mutation), 2 TLR2 (one with concomitant TLR6 mutation), 1 IRAK1, and 1 TLR5. No mutations were found in IRAK2 and IRAK4. TLR/MYD88-mutated CLL overexpressed genes of the nuclear factor κB pathway. Patients with TLR/MYD88 mutations were significantly younger (83% age ≤50 years) than those with no mutations. TLR/MYD88 mutations were the most frequent in young patients. Patients with mutated TLR/MYD88 CLL had a higher frequency of mutated IGHV and low expression of CD38 and ZAP-70. Overall survival (OS) was better in TLR/MYD88-mutated than unmutated patients in the whole series (10-year OS, 100% vs 62%; P = .002), and in the subset of patients age ≤50 years (100% vs 70%; P = .02). In addition, relative OS of TLR/MYD88-mutated patients was similar to that in the age- and gender-matched population. In summary, TLR/MYD88 mutations identify a population of young CLL patients with favorable outcome.

Jelen MM, Chen Z, Kocjan BJ, et al.
Global genomic diversity of human papillomavirus 6 based on 724 isolates and 190 complete genome sequences.
J Virol. 2014; 88(13):7307-16 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Human papillomavirus type 6 (HPV6) is the major etiological agent of anogenital warts and laryngeal papillomas and has been included in both the quadrivalent and nonavalent prophylactic HPV vaccines. This study investigated the global genomic diversity of HPV6, using 724 isolates and 190 complete genomes from six continents, and the association of HPV6 genomic variants with geographical location, anatomical site of infection/disease, and gender. Initially, a 2,800-bp E5a-E5b-L1-LCR fragment was sequenced from 492/530 (92.8%) HPV6-positive samples collected for this study. Among them, 130 exhibited at least one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), indel, or amino acid change in the E5a-E5b-L1-LCR fragment and were sequenced in full. A global alignment and maximum likelihood tree of 190 complete HPV6 genomes (130 fully sequenced in this study and 60 obtained from sequence repositories) revealed two variant lineages, A and B, and five B sublineages: B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5. HPV6 (sub)lineage-specific SNPs and a 960-bp representative region for whole-genome-based phylogenetic clustering within the L2 open reading frame were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that lineage B predominated globally. Sublineage B3 was more common in Africa and North and South America, and lineage A was more common in Asia. Sublineages B1 and B3 were associated with anogenital infections, indicating a potential lesion-specific predilection of some HPV6 sublineages. Females had higher odds for infection with sublineage B3 than males. In conclusion, a global HPV6 phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two variant lineages and five sublineages, showing some degree of ethnogeographic, gender, and/or disease predilection in their distribution.
IMPORTANCE: This study established the largest database of globally circulating HPV6 genomic variants and contributed a total of 130 new, complete HPV6 genome sequences to available sequence repositories. Two HPV6 variant lineages and five sublineages were identified and showed some degree of association with geographical location, anatomical site of infection/disease, and/or gender. We additionally identified several HPV6 lineage- and sublineage-specific SNPs to facilitate the identification of HPV6 variants and determined a representative region within the L2 gene that is suitable for HPV6 whole-genome-based phylogenetic analysis. This study complements and significantly expands the current knowledge of HPV6 genetic diversity and forms a comprehensive basis for future epidemiological, evolutionary, functional, pathogenicity, vaccination, and molecular assay development studies.

Veronese A, Pepe F, Chiacchia J, et al.
Allele-specific loss and transcription of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(1):86-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
Deregulation of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster has a key role in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a clinically heterogeneous disease with indolent and aggressive forms. The miR-15a/16-1 locus is located at 13q14, the most frequently deleted region in CLL. Starting from functional investigations of a rare SNP upstream the miR cluster, we identified a novel allele-specific mechanism that exploits a cryptic activator region to recruit the RNA polymerase III for miR-15a/16-1 transcription. This regulation of the miR-15a/16- locus is independent of the DLEU2 host gene, which is often transcribed monoallellically by RPII. We found that normally one allele of miR-15a/16-1 is transcribed by RNAPII, the other one by RNAPIII. In our subset of CLL patients harboring 13q14 deletions, exclusive RNA polymerase III (RPIII)-driven transcription of the miR-15a/16-1 was the consequence of loss of the RPII-regulated allele and correlated with high expression of the poor prognostic marker ZAP70 (P=0.019). Thus, our findings point to a novel biological process, characterized by double allele-specific transcriptional regulation of the miR-15a/16-1 locus by alternative mechanisms. Differential usage of these mechanisms may distinguish at onset aggressive from indolent forms of CLL. This provides a basis for the clinical heterogeneity of the CLL patients carrying 13q14 deletions.

Gentile M, Cutrona G, Mosca L, et al.
Prospective validation of a risk score based on biological markers for predicting progression free survival in Binet stage A chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients: results of the multicenter O-CLL1-GISL study.
Am J Hematol. 2014; 89(7):743-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
A risk score based on three biological features (CD38, ZAP-70, and IGHV mutational status) was previously developed to predict progression-free survival (PFS) in untreated Binet A CLL patients. Here we perform a score validation analysis in a prospective and independent cohort of patients. Biological markers (CD38, ZAP-70, and IGHV mutational status) and gene expression profiles (GEP) of leukemic cells from CLL patients included in a prospective multicenter observational study (O-CLL1-GISL protocol, clinicaltrial.gov ID:NCT00917549) were used to assess the value and reproducibility of this score. To date, 468 Binet A patients were classified as low- (0 positive marker), intermediate- (1 positive marker), or high-risk (2 or 3 positive markers) using the progression risk score. The 3-year PFS probability was 91.7%, 82.9%, and 57.4% for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk (P < 0.0001) cases, respectively. These values were similar to those found in the original cohort. At Cox multivariate analysis, Rai stage, absolute lymphocyte count, progression risk score, and β-2 microglobulin maintained an independent prognostic impact on PFS. This score remained a predictor of progression when analysis was limited to 371 Rai 0 cases (P < 0.0001). Finally, the cells from the different CLL risk groups showed differences in their gene expression patterns. These results confirm the ability of this progression risk score to predict PFS among Binet A patients. The utility of the score was also extended by demonstrating that it retains prognostic value when applied exclusively to Rai 0 patients. Specific transcriptional patterns were significantly associated with risk groups.

Catovsky D, Wade R, Else M
The clinical significance of patients' sex in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(6):1088-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
We examined the prognostic influence of gender in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Data from four randomized trials (involving 1821 patients) and three registration studies of stage-A disease (involving 1299 patients) were analyzed. Overall survival at 10 years was better for women than men in all trials (27% versus 15%; P=0.0001) and in the registration series (55% versus 43%; P<0.0001). More women than men in the trials were Binet stage A-progressive (26% versus 15%), but gender was an independent predictor of survival in multivariate analysis of clinical variables (P<0.0001). Women responded better to treatment (overall response 83%) than men (71%; P<0.0001), within each stage and age group, although fewer women than men received the full treatment dose (79% versus 85%; P=0.01). Women were more likely than men to experience toxicity (85% versus 78%, P=0.01), particularly gastro-intestinal toxicity (57% versus 42%, P<0.0001). Laboratory markers in the LRF CLL4 trial showed a significantly lower incidence in women than men of unmutated IGHV genes, raised beta-2 microglobulin, CD38 and Zap-70 positivity and TP53 deletions/mutations and/or 11q deletions. We also highlight the higher male:female ratios in randomized trials versus studies of early chronic lymphocytic leukemia and monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in women runs a more benign clinical course than in men. Gender was also an independent predictor of response, suggesting that pharmacokinetic differences between the sexes and a possible effect of estrogens may contribute to the better outcome. Understanding the reasons for the different outcome by gender may improve patients' management. (LRF CLL4 controlled-trials.com identifier: ISRCTN58585610).

Szánthó E, Bhattoa HP, Csobán M, et al.
Serum thymidine kinase activity: analytical performance, age-related reference ranges and validation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e91647 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To date no age-related reference ranges are available for serum thymidine kinase (TK1) activity. Being a proliferation marker, it may be used as a prognostic marker in malignant diseases, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Our aim was to establish age-specific reference ranges for TK1 and examine its utility as a screening marker in CLL, a disease of the elderly.
METHODS: Serum TK1 activity was measured by a competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay in 369 healthy adults and 115 de novo CLL patients.
RESULTS: We observed a statistically significant decline in TK1 activity from young (18-35 years) to middle-aged (36-60 years) and further on to elderly (60-86 years) healthy individuals. Age-related reference range was: <30 U/L for young, <25 U/L for middle-aged and <19 U/L for elderly. There was no difference in TK1 activity between the studied healthy men and women. In CLL patients, TK1 activity was the highest in the advanced Rai stages. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) for TK1 was 0.840 (95% CI: 0.787-0.892), for differentiating CLL patients from age and sex matched healthy controls, with a cut-off value of 10.5 U/L (sensitivity: 80.9%, specificity: 73.4%). TK1 was significantly elevated in CD38+/Zap70+ CLL patients, and showed significant correlation with WBC and absolute B-cell count.
CONCLUSION: In the healthy, serum TK1 activity does not differ in the two sexes but declines significantly with age. As such, use of age-related reference ranges is warranted, especially when evaluating CLL patients who generally belong to the elderly age group.

Dong HJ, Fang C, Wang L, et al.
TP53 Pro72 allele potentially increases the poor prognostic significance of TP53 mutation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(4):908 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have investigated the associations between TP53 mutations and codon 72 polymorphisms and prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, the joint effect of TP53 mutations and TP53 codon 72 polymorphisms on CLL prognosis remains uncertain. We used direct sequencing to detect TP53 mutations and codon 72 genotype in 207 patients with CLL. The Pro/Pro genotype was associated with an increased incidence of TP53 mutations and deletion, but had no apparent effect on biological tumor behavior or clinical response. Compared to patients with wild-type p53, patients with TP53 mutations and the Pro72 allele (Arg/Pro + Pro/Pro genotypes) were associated with unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region status and chemorefractoriness. Overall survival (OS) in the entire patient group was differed significantly between patients with TP53 mutations and either the Pro72 allele or Arg/Arg homozygotes (P = 0.014). Notably, patients with TP53 mutation and the Pro72 allele experienced a 23.7-fold increase in hazard ratio (95% CI 3.38-165.9; P = 0.001) for OS compared with patients with wild-type p53 and those with the Arg/Arg genotype. The TP53 Pro72 allele potentially increases the prognostic significance of TP53 mutations in CLL.

Gattazzo C, Martini V, Frezzato F, et al.
Cortactin, another player in the Lyn signaling pathway, is over-expressed and alternatively spliced in leukemic cells from patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(6):1069-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
Cortactin, an actin binding protein and Lyn substrate, is up-regulated in several cancers and its level is associated with increased cell migration, metastasis and poor prognosis. The identification that the Src kinase Lyn and its substrate HS1 are over-expressed in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and involved in resistance to chemotherapy and poor prognosis, prompted us to investigate the role of cortactin, an HS1 homolog, in the pathogenesis and progression of this disorder. In this study, we observed that cortactin is over-expressed in leukemic cells of patients (1.10 ± 0.12) with respect to normal B lymphocytes (0.19 ± 0.06; P=0.0065). Fifty-three percent of our patients expressed the WT mRNA and p80/85 protein isoforms, usually lacking in normal B lymphocytes which express the SV1 variant and the p70/75 protein isoforms. Moreover, we found an association of the cortactin overexpression and negative prognostic factors, including ZAP-70 (P<0.01), CD38 (P<0.01) and somatic hypermutations in the immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (P<0.01). Our results show that patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia express high levels of cortactin with a particular overexpression of the WT isoform that is lacking in normal B cells, and a correlation to poor prognosis, suggesting that this protein could be relevant in the pathogenesis and aggressiveness of the disease.

Bulian P, Shanafelt TD, Fegan C, et al.
CD49d is the strongest flow cytometry-based predictor of overall survival in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(9):897-904 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although CD49d is an unfavorable prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), definitive validation evidence is lacking. A worldwide multicenter analysis was performed using published and unpublished CLL series to evaluate the impact of CD49d as an overall (OS) and treatment-free survival (TFS) predictor.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A training/validation strategy was chosen to find the optimal CD49d cutoff. The hazard ratio (HR) for death and treatment imposed by CD49d was estimated by pooled analysis of 2,972 CLLs; Cox analysis stratified by center and stage was used to adjust for confounding variables. The importance of CD49d over other flow cytometry-based prognosticators (eg, CD38, ZAP-70) was ranked by recursive partitioning.
RESULTS: Patients with ≥ 30% of neoplastic cells expressing CD49d were considered CD49d+. Decrease in OS at 5 and 10 years among CD49d+ patients was 7% and 23% (decrease in TFS, 26% and 25%, respectively). Pooled HR of CD49d for OS was 2.5 (2.3 for TFS) in univariate analysis. This HR remained significant and of similar magnitude (HR, 2.0) in a Cox model adjusted for clinical and biologic prognosticators. Hierarchic trees including all patients or restricted to those with early-stage disease or those age ≤ 65 years always selected CD49d as the most important flow cytometry-based biomarker, with negligible additional prognostic information added by CD38 or ZAP-70. Consistently, by bivariate analysis, CD49d reliably identified patient subsets with poorer outcome independent of CD38 and ZAP-70.
CONCLUSION: In this analysis of approximately 3,000 patients, CD49d emerged as the strongest flow cytometry-based predictor of OS and TFS in CLL.

Bojarska-Junak A, Hus I, Chocholska S, et al.
CD1d expression is higher in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with unfavorable prognosis.
Leuk Res. 2014; 38(4):435-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Through the analysis of CD1d expression by flow cytometry and qRT-PCR we showed lower CD1d molecule and CD1d mRNA expression in B cells of CLL patients than of healthy controls. The frequency of CD1d(+)/CD19(+) cells, CD1d staining intensity and CD1d transcript levels increased with the disease stage. CD1d expression was positively associated with ZAP-70 and CD38 expressions as well as with unfavourable cytogenetic changes. We established the relationship between high CD1d expression and shorter time to treatment and overall survival. We observed that CD1d expression in individual patients significantly changed over time. The percentage of CD1d(+)/CD19(+) cells inversely correlated with the percentage of iNKT cells.

Woyach JA, Smucker K, Smith LL, et al.
Prolonged lymphocytosis during ibrutinib therapy is associated with distinct molecular characteristics and does not indicate a suboptimal response to therapy.
Blood. 2014; 123(12):1810-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
The Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib has outstanding activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Most patients experience lymphocytosis, representing lymphocyte egress from nodal compartments. This resolves within 8 months in the majority of patients, but a subgroup has lymphocytosis lasting >12 months. Here we report a detailed characterization of patients with persistent lymphocytosis during ibrutinib therapy. Signaling evaluation showed that while BTK is inhibited, downstream mediators of B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling are activated in persistent lymphocytes. These cells cannot be stimulated through the BCR and do not show evidence of target gene activation. Flow cytometry for κ and λ expression, IGHV sequencing, Zap-70 methylation, and targeted gene sequencing in these patients are identical at baseline and later time points, suggesting that persistent lymphocytes do not represent clonal evolution. In vitro treatment with targeted kinase inhibitors shows that they are not addicted to a single survival pathway. Finally, progression-free survival is not inferior for patients with prolonged lymphocytosis vs those with traditional responses. Thus, prolonged lymphocytosis is common following ibrutinib treatment, likely represents the persistence of a quiescent clone, and does not predict a subgroup of patients likely to relapse early.

Rossi M, Fuligni F, Ciccone M, et al.
Hsa-miR-15a and Hsa-miR-16-1 expression is not related to proliferation centers abundance and other prognostic factors in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:715391 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/07/2015 Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) is the commonest leukemia in adults. Here, we aimed to evaluate hsa-miR-15a/hsa-miR-16-1 expression in CLL tissues by qPCR and correlate it with the other clinicopathological features and clinical outcome. 40 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) lymph node samples obtained from CLL/SLL patients were classified into two categories, "PCs rich" and "typical." We found a significant common expression level of 4 miRNAs; however, we did not find any significant relationship between PCs presence and miRNAs expression. Moreover, neither the presence of 13q deletion nor the percentage of cells carrying the deletion strictly correlated with miRNAs expression levels, although a significant number of patients with 13q deletion presented hsa-miR-16-1-3p levels below the median value in normal samples (P < 0.05). Finally, although no correlation was found between the expression of each miRNA and other clinicopathological features (Ki67, CD38, ZAP70, and IGVH@ hypermutations), the OS curves showed a positive trend in patients with miRNAs downregulation, though not statistically significant. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that all miRNAs can be successfully studied in FFPE CLL tissues and that del13q and PCs richness do not strictly correspond to miRNAs downregulation; therefore, a specific evaluation may be envisaged at least in patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Ronchetti D, Tuana G, Rinaldi A, et al.
Distinct patterns of global promoter methylation in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(3):264-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genomic and epigenomic studies of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are reshaping our understanding of the disease and have provided new perspectives for a more individualized diagnosis and new potential therapeutic targets. In this study, the global promoter methylation profile was determined in highly purified B-cells from 37 (Binet stage A) CLL patients, using high-resolution methylation microarrays (27,578 CpG). Overall, the methylation pattern correlated with the major biological (ZAP-70 and CD38), and molecular (IGHV mutation) markers, distinguishing CLL cases according to IGHV mutational status. Cell adhesion molecules were enriched in the signature of unmutated (UM) versus mutated (M-) CLL. Moreover, in M-CLL CpG hyper-methylation in three genes, including SPG20, was significantly anti-correlated with the corresponding gene expression level. Finally, the correlation between the methylation pattern and clinical parameters was investigated. Notably, out of 42 methyl-probes that were significantly associated with progression free survival (PFS), hyper-methylation of SPG20 was also positively associated with PFS. These data support the notion that epigenetic changes have clinical impact in CLL and may contribute to the identification of novel candidate disease-associated genes potentially useful to predict the clinical outcome of early stage CLL patients.

Huang PY, Best OG, Almazi JG, et al.
Cell surface phenotype profiles distinguish stable and progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(9):2085-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is clinically heterogeneous. While some patients have indolent disease for many years, 20-30% will progress and ultimately die of their disease. CLL may be classified by the Rai or Binet staging system, mutational status of the immunoglobulin variable heavy-chain gene (IGVH), ZAP-70 overexpression, cytogenetic abnormalities (13q-, + 12, 11q-, 17p-) and expression of several cell surface antigens (CD38, CD49d) that correlate with risk of disease progression. However, none of these markers identify all cases of CLL at risk. In a recent review, we summarized those CD antigens known to correlate with the prognosis of CLL. The present study has identified surface profiles of CD antigens that distinguish clinically progressive CLL from slow-progressive and stable CLL. Using an extended DotScan(™) CLL antibody microarray (Version 3; 182 CD antibodies), and with refined analysis of purified CD19 + B-cells, the following 27 CD antigens were differentially abundant for progressive CLL: CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, CD18, CD19, CD20 (two epitopes), CD21, CD22, CD23, CD24, CD25, CD38, CD40, CD43, CD45, CD45RA, CD52, CD69, CD81, CD84, CD98, CD102, CD148, CD180, CD196 and CD270. The extensive surface profiles obtained provide disease signatures with an accuracy of 79.2%, a sensitivity of 83.9% and a specificity of 72.5% that could provide the basis for a rapid test to triage patients with CLL according to probability of clinical progression and potential earlier requirement for treatment.

Conte MJ, Bowen DA, Wiseman GA, et al.
Use of positron emission tomography-computed tomography in the management of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(9):2079-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) cells typically have low 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) avidity, and patients with CLL have an increased risk of developing FDG-avid aggressive lymphomas, second malignancies and infections. We hypothesized that FDG positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) of the trunk is a sensitive method of detecting these complications in patients with CLL. Of the of 2299 patients with CLL seen in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic Rochester between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2011, 272 (11.8%) had 526 PET-CT scans and 472 (89.7%) of these were reported as abnormal. Among the 293 (55.7%) PET-CT scans used for routine evaluation of CLL, the PET component was of clinical value in only one instance. In contrast, in 83 (30.5%) patients, PET-CT scans used to evaluate new clinical complications localized high FDG-avidity lesions for biopsies. This resulted in clinically relevant new diagnoses in 32 patients, including those with more aggressive lymphoma (n = 16), non-hematological malignancies (n = 8) and opportunistic infections (n = 3). Twenty-seven patients had high FDG-avidity CLL, which was associated with prominent lymph node proliferation centers, an increased frequency of poor prognostic factors (17p13 deletion, unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable gene [IGHV], expression of ZAP-70 and CD38) and a shorter overall survival. We conclude that FDG PET scans should not be used for routine surveillance of patients with CLL. However PET-CT scans are sensitive, but not specific, for detection of aggressive lymphomas, other cancers and systemic infections in patients with CLL.

Hus I, Bojarska-Junak A, Chocholska S, et al.
Th17/IL-17A might play a protective role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia immunity.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e78091 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Th17 cells, a recently discovered subset of T helper cells that secrete IL-17A, can affect the inflammation process autoimmune and cancer diseases development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of Th17 cells and IL17A in biology of CLL. The study group included 294 untreated CLL patients in different clinical stages. Here, we show that higher Th17 and IL-17A values were associated with less advanced clinical stage of CLL. Th17 cells' percentages in PB were lower in patients who died due to CLL during follow-up due to CLL (as compared to surviving patients) and in patients responding to first-line therapy with fludarabine-based regimens (as compared to non-responders). IL-17A inversely correlated with the time from CLL diagnosis to the start of therapy and was lower in patients who required treatment during follow-up. Th-17 and IL-17A values were lower in patients with adverse prognostic factors (17p and 11q deletion, CD38 and ZAP-70 expression). CLL patients with detectable IL-17A mRNA in T cells were in Rai Stage 0 and negative for both ZAP-70 and CD38 expression. Th17 percentages positively correlated with iNKT and adversely with Treg cells. The results of this study suggest that Th17 may play a beneficial role in CLL immunity.

Pede V, Rombout A, Vermeire J, et al.
Expression of ZAP70 in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia activates NF-κB signalling.
Br J Haematol. 2013; 163(5):621-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is a disease with a highly variable prognosis. The clinical course can however be predicted thanks to prognostic markers. Poor prognosis is associated with expression of a B cell receptor (BCR) from unmutated immunoglobulin variable heavy-chain genes (IGHV) and expression of zeta-associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP70). The reason why ZAP70 expression is associated with poor prognosis and whether the protein has a direct pathogenic function is at present unknown. By transfer of ZAP70 to CLL cells, we show here that expression of ZAP70 in CLL cells leads to increased expression of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB target genes interleukin-1β (IL1B), IL6 and IL8 upon BCR triggering. This could be blocked by inhibition of NF-κB signalling through inhibition of IκB kinases (IKK). Transcriptome analysis identified a NF-κB RELA signature imposed by ZAP70 expression in BCR-stimulated CLL cells. We conclude that ZAP70 acts directly as an amplifier of NF-κB signalling in CLL cells which could be an underlying mechanism for its association with poor prognosis and which may represent a therapeutic target.

Akbari Moqadam F, Boer JM, Lange-Turenhout EA, et al.
Altered expression of miR-24, miR-126 and miR-365 does not affect viability of childhood TCF3-rearranged leukemia cells.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(5):1008-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Among the microRNAs (miRNAs) that control different cellular processes, miR-24, miR-126 and miR-365 were shown to regulate cell cycle progression and apoptosis in various types of tumors. Interestingly, these three miRNAs were downregulated in pediatric TCF3-rearranged B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). Here, we showed that individual or combined overexpression of miR-24, miR-126 and miR-365 can neither alter the cell cycle progression nor the amount of apoptosis in 697, KASUMI-2 or MHH-CALL-3 TCF3-rearranged leukemic cells. We further integrated the miRNA-mRNA expression data of 37 children with BCP-ALL to identify candidate target genes for these three miRNAs. However, the expression levels of selected candidate target genes (ELL, EBF3 and IRF4 for miR-24, PITPNC1 for miR-126 and ZAP-70 for miR-365) did not reduce upon miRNAs overexpression in MHH-CALL-3 TCF3-rearranged leukemic cells. Although the expression level of AURKB-a validated target for miR-24-was reduced upon miR-24 overexpression in hepatocarcinoma HEP-G2 cells, overexpression of miR-24 cannot alter AURKB expression levels in MHH-CALL-3 TCF3-rearranged leukemic cells. Taken together, our data suggest that miRNAs' function is highly tissue-dependent and that a defined biological target gene or function of one miRNA in a specific tissue cannot be extended as a generalized target/function for that miRNA in all types of cells/tissues.

Adams RL, Cheung C, Banh R, et al.
Prognostic value of ZAP-70 expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia as assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry.
Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2014; 86(2):80-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disorder in which the tempo of disease progression is highly variable, and prognostic markers that can be utilized at diagnosis are regarded as clinically important. Currently, there are several prognostic factors, such as immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgVH) mutational status, and ZAP-70 protein expression in neoplastic B-cells, that have demonstrated significant discriminative power in the prognostication of CLL. They are, however, largely unavailable in the routine diagnostic laboratory setting.
METHODS: In this study, we characterized the IgVH status and ZAP-70 expression by molecular techniques in a cohort of 108 patients with CLL, and correlated these results with three different methods of ZAP-70 expression by flow cytometry. We then assessed the results of these methods in terms of prognostic power as characterized by time to first treatment (TTFT).
RESULTS: By comparing three different flow cytometry methods using receiver–operator curve (ROC) analysis, we identified that by utilizing a corrected mean fluorescence intensity (CorrMFI) algorithm for assessing ZAP-70 expression, there was good correlation with both IgVH mutational status, and ZAP-70 expression as assessed by qPCR. We were also able to show that ZAP-70 expression, as assessed by both qPCR and the CorrMFI method, was prognostic of TTFT.
CONCLUSIONS: While confirmation in a larger patient cohort, with longer follow-up is required, we believe that the CorrMFI represents the most promising method currently available in a routine diagnostic setting for the assessment of ZAP-70 expression in CLL patients.

Libisch MG, Casás M, Chiribao M, et al.
GALNT11 as a new molecular marker in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Gene. 2014; 533(1):270-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant mucin O-glycosylation often occurs in different cancers and is characterized by immature expression of simple mucin-type carbohydrates. At present, there are some controversial reports about the Tn antigen (GalNAcα-O-Ser/Thr) expression and there is a great lack of information about the [UDP-N-acetyl-α-d-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (GalNAc-Ts)] expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). To gain insight in these issues we evaluated the Tn antigen expression in CLL patient samples using two Tn binding proteins with different fine specificity. We also studied the expression from 14 GalNAc-Ts genes in CLL patients by RT-PCR. Our results have provided additional information about the expression level of the Tn antigen, suggesting that a low density of Tn residues is expressed in CLL cells. We also found that GALNT11 was expressed in CLL cells and normal T cell whereas little or no expression was found in normal B cells. Based on these results, GALNT11 expression was assessed by qPCR in a cohort of 50 CLL patients. We found significant over-expression of GALNT11 in 96% of B-CLL cells when compared to normal B cells. Moreover, we confirmed the expression of this enzyme at the protein level. Finally we found that GALNT11 expression was significantly associated with the mutational status of the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV), [א(2)(1)=18.26; P<0.0001], lipoprotein lipase expression [א(2)(1)=13.72; P=0.0002] and disease prognosis [א(2)(1)=15.49; P<0.0001]. Our evidence suggests that CLL patient samples harbor aberrant O-glycosylation highlighted by Tn antigen expression and that the over-expression of GALNT11 constitutes a new molecular marker for CLL.

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