Publications by authors named "Elisabeth P Nacheva"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

-Deficient T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Is Sensitized to CHK1 Inhibition through Enhanced Replication Stress.

Cancer Discov 2020 07 29;10(7):998-1017. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Haematology, UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Loss-of-function mutations of , the enzymatic component of PRC2, have been associated with poor outcome and chemotherapy resistance in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Using isogenic T-ALL cells, with and without CRISPR/Cas9-induced EZH2-inactivating mutations, we performed a cell-based synthetic lethal drug screen. EZH2-deficient cells exhibited increased sensitivity to structurally diverse inhibitors of CHK1, an interaction that could be validated genetically. Furthermore, small-molecule inhibition of CHK1 had efficacy in delaying tumor progression in isogenic EZH2-deficient, but not EZH2 wild-type, T-ALL cells , as well as in a primary cell model of PRC2-mutant ALL. Mechanistically, EZH2 deficiency resulted in a gene-expression signature of immature T-ALL cells, marked transcriptional upregulation of , increased replication stress, and enhanced dependency on CHK1 for cell survival. Finally, we demonstrate this phenotype is mediated through derepression of a distal PRC2-regulated enhancer. In conclusion, we highlight a novel and clinically exploitable pathway in high-risk EZH2-mutated T-ALL. SIGNIFICANCE: Loss-of-function mutations of PRC2 genes are associated with chemotherapy resistance in T-ALL, yet no specific therapy for this aggressive subtype is currently clinically available. Our work demonstrates that loss of EZH2 activity leads to MYCN-driven replication stress, resulting in increased sensitivity to CHK1 inhibition, a finding with immediate clinical relevance..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611258PMC
July 2020

Detection of inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6) in a marker chromosome.

Eur J Haematol 2017 Jun 31;98(6):635-637. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Section of Haematology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

Objectives: Inherited chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus-6 (ciHHV-6) is characterised by the complete HHV-6 genome integration into the host germ line genome and is vertically transmitted with a Mendelian inheritance. By now, the only relationship between ciHHV-6 and diseases seems to be with angina pectoris.

Methods: We report a case of an 82-year-old man diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) on October 2014. To substantiate the suspicion of ciHHV-6, we analysed peripheral blood mononuclear cells, bone marrow biopsy and pleural effusion-derived mesothelial cells with PCR, RT-PCR and FISH.

Results: Virological routine screening by PCR showed the absence of HHV-8 and EBV infections, while the presence of HHV-6 DNA (ie, U22, U42 and U94 HHV-6 genes), with a viral load of about 1.0 genome per cell, strongly suggests ciHHV-6. The RT-PCR showed the positivity only for the immediate-early U94, at low levels of transcription (100±15 transcripts/1 μg RNA). FISH analysis reported a case of inherited ciHHV-6 in 17p chromosome region and, for the first time, in a marker chromosome.

Conclusions: This is the first case of inherited ciHHV-6 in a marker chromosome, possibly elucidating the role of this abnormality in the biology of DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12872DOI Listing
June 2017

Can genome array screening replace FISH as a front-line test in multiple myeloma?

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2014 Aug 23;53(8):676-92. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Military Medical Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant disorder characterized by neoplastic transformation of mature B cells in the bone marrow (BM), accompanied by complex genetic changes. The disease is heterogeneous at both the clinical and genomic levels. Molecular genetics and genomic investigations have demonstrated that disease evolution is associated with an accumulation of specific aberrations, mostly genome imbalances, which not only shed light on the disease pathogenesis but also allow risk assessment and treatment monitoring. We used a catalogue version of the Agilent 8x60K oligo-array with immuno-magnetically isolated CD138(+) cells from BM samples of 50 patients with myeloma to evaluate the merit of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) as a diagnostic tool. We demonstrate the ability of aCGH to detect clonal imbalances to a level well below established clinically significant thresholds. aCGH, combined with target enrichment and complemented with tests for IGH rearrangements offers a cost neutral alternative to multiprobe fluorescence in situ hybridization screening. While we recognize the limitations of the standard version of the 8x60k array we demonstrate the value of aCGH as a first tier test in the diagnostic workup of MM. The array technology enables high-risk disease stratification with the added benefit of providing whole genome data to assist in establishing clinically relevant predicative markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22178DOI Listing
August 2014

Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM) Offers Clues to Differences Between the Genomes of Adult Philadelphia Positive ALL and the Lymphoid Blast Transformation of CML.

Cancer Inform 2012 12;11:173-83. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

University College London, London, UK.

Philadelphia positive malignant disorders are a clinically divergent group of leukemias. These include chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and de novo acute Philadelphia positive (Ph(+)) leukemia of both myeloid, and lymphoid origin. Recent whole genome screening of Ph(+)ALL in both children and adults identified an almost obligatory cryptic loss of Ikaros, required for the normal B cell maturation. Although similar losses were found in lymphoid blast crisis the genetic background of the transformation in CML is still poorly defined. We used Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM) to analyze comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) data from 30 CML (10 each of chronic phase, myeloid and lymphoid blast stage), 10 Ph(+)ALL adult patients and 10 disease free controls and were able to: (a) discriminate between the genomes of lymphoid and myeloid blast cells and (b) identify differences in the genome profile of de novo Ph(+)ALL and lymphoid blast transformation of CML (BC/L). Furthermore we were able to distinguish a sub group of Ph(+) ALL characterized by gains in chromosome 9 and recurrent losses at several other genome sites offering genetic evidence for the clinical heterogeneity. The significance of these results is that they not only offer clues regarding the pathogenesis of Ph(+) disorders and highlight the potential clinical implications of a set of probes but also demonstrates what SAM can offer for the analysis of genome data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/CIN.S9258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448499PMC
October 2012

Differentiating inherited human herpesvirus type 6 genome from primary human herpesvirus type 6 infection by means of dried blood spot from the newborn screening card.

J Pediatr 2011 Nov 15;159(5):859-61. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

To differentiate active human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) infection from inherited HHV-6 (iHHV-6), we analyzed dried blood spots from archived newborn screening cards in 3 patients with high HHV-6 DNA copy numbers. Two patients were positive for HHV-6 DNA as neonates suggesting iHHV-6. In 1 patient, the absence of HHV-6 DNA excluded iHHV-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.06.032DOI Listing
November 2011

Imatinib sensitivity in BCR-ABL1-positive chronic myeloid leukemia cells is regulated by the remaining normal ABL1 allele.

Cancer Res 2011 Aug 21;71(16):5381-6. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory, Academic Hematology, University College London Cancer Institute, Royal Free Campus, London, United Kingdom.

Chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) cells that harbor oncogenic BCR-ABL1 and normal ABL1 allele often become resistant to the ABL1 kinase inhibitor imatinib. Here, we report that loss of the remaining normal ABL1 allele in these tumors, which results from cryptic interstitial deletion in 9q34 in patients who did not achieve a complete cytogenetic remission (CCyR) during treatment, engenders a novel unexpected mechanism of imatinib resistance. BCR-ABL1-positive Abl1(-/-) leukemia cells were refractory to imatinib as indicated by persistent BCR-ABL1-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation, lack of BCR-ABL1 protein degradation, increased cell survival, and clonogenic activity. Expression of ABL1 kinase, but not a kinase-dead mutant, restored the antileukemic effects of imatinib in ABL1-negative chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells and in BCR-ABL1-positive Abl1(-/-) murine leukemia cells. The intracellular concentration of imatinib and expression of its transporters were not affected, although proteins involved in BCR-ABL1 degradation were downregulated in Abl1(-/-) cells. Furthermore, 12 genes associated with imatinib resistance were favorably deregulated in Abl1(-/-) leukemia. Taken together, our results indicate that loss of the normal ABL1 kinase may serve as a key prognostic factor that exerts major impact on CML treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156347PMC
August 2011

Genomic amplification of BCR/ABL1 and a region downstream of ABL1 in chronic myeloid leukaemia: a FISH mapping study of CML patients and cell lines.

Mol Cytogenet 2010 Sep 1;3:15. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Academic Haematology, University College London Cancer Institute, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, UK.

Background: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is characterized by the expression of the BCR/ABL1 fusion gene, a constitutively activated tyrosine kinase that commonly results from the formation of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome after a t(9;22)(q34;q11) or variant rearrangement. The duplication of the Ph chromosome is a recurring abnormality acquired during disease progression, whereas intrachromosomal amplification of BCR/ABL1 is a rare phenomenon and has been associated with imatinib therapy resistance. Archival bone marrow chromosome suspensions from 19 CML patients known to carry more than 1 copy of BCR/ABL1 and 10 CML cell lines were analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization with a panel of probes from 9q34.1-qter to investigate whether they carried two identical copies of the Ph chromosome or, instead, one or both Ph contained cryptic imbalances of some regions.

Results: A duplication of the entire Ph chromosome with no further events involving the derivative 22 was found in 12 patients. In contrast, a sideline with either 1 or 2 isochromosomes of the Ph chromosome was identified in 6 patients but none of the cell lines. In one of the patients a translocation between the distal end of one arm of the isoderivative chromosome 22 and a third chromosome was revealed. 2 patients were found to carry marker structures harbouring high copy number gains of BCR/ABL1 fusion along with a variable part of 9q34 region downstream of ABL1 breakpoint, similarly to the markers present in the imatinib resistant cell line K562. We identified the following regions of amplification: 9q34.1 → q34.2 and 9q34.1 → qter, with a common minimum amplified region of 682 Kb. One of the patients had 5 BCR/ABL1 positive clones with variable level of 9q34 amplifications on a variety of structures, from an isoderivative 22 to tandem duplications.

Conclusions: These data confirm that the intrachromosomal genomic amplification of BCR/ABL1 that occurs in some CML patients during disease progression also involves amplification of 9q34 gene-rich sequences downstream of ABL1 breakpoint. The variety of rearrangements identified in this relatively small cohort demonstrates that the Ph chromosome is not a stable structure but prone to further rearrangements during disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1755-8166-3-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944125PMC
September 2010

A high circulating copy number of HHV-6 due to chromosomal integration in a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2010 Dec;55(6):1236-8

Pediatric Research Centre, University of Tampere Medical School and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

We report a case of a 3.5-year-old female with a very high copy number of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) detected by PCR in blood during acute lymphoblastic leukemia induction therapy. The patient was unsuccessfully treated with antiviral drugs. HHV-6 genome was shown to be constitutively integrated into chromosome 22q-tel, likely to be inherited from the mother who was found to carry high HHV-6 copy number. This case highlights the importance of excluding HHV-6 chromosomal integration before diagnosing HHV-6 infection or reactivation in immunocompromised patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.22671DOI Listing
December 2010

Deletions of immunoglobulin heavy chain and T cell receptor gene regions are uniquely associated with lymphoid blast transformation of chronic myeloid leukemia.

BMC Genomics 2010 Jan 18;11:41. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

UCL School of Medicine, Cancer Institute, Academic Haematology, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, Hampstead, London NW3 2PF, UK.

Background: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) results from the neoplastic transformation of a haematopoietic stem cell. The hallmark genetic abnormality of CML is a chimeric BCR/ABL1 fusion gene resulting from the Philadelphia chromosome rearrangement t(9;22)(q34;q11). Clinical and laboratory studies indicate that the BCR/ABL1 fusion protein is essential for initiation, maintenance and progression of CML, yet the event(s) driving the transformation from chronic phase to blast phase are poorly understood.

Results: Here we report multiple genome aberrations in a collection of 78 CML and 14 control samples by oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization. We found a unique signature of genome deletions within the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) and T cell receptor regions (TCR), frequently accompanied by concomitant loss of sequences within the short arm regions of chromosomes 7 and 9, including IKZF1, HOXA7, CDKN2A/2B, MLLT3, IFNA/B, RNF38, PAX5, JMJD2C and PDCD1LG2 genes.

Conclusions: None of these genome losses were detected in any of the CML samples with myeloid transformation, chronic phase or controls, indicating that their presence is obligatory for the development of a malignant clone with a lymphoid phenotype. Notably, the coincidental deletions at IGH and TCR regions appear to precede the loss of IKZF1 and/or p16 genes in CML indicating a possible involvement of RAG in these deletions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-41DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2822760PMC
January 2010

2-Phenylacetylenesulfonamide (PAS) induces p53-independent apoptotic killing of B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells.

Blood 2009 Aug 10;114(6):1217-25. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Department of Hematology, Cancer Institute, University College London Medical School, London, United Kingdom.

We studied the actions of 2-phenylacetylenesulfonamide (PAS) on B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells. PAS (5-20 microM) initiated apoptosis within 24 hours, with maximal death at 48 hours asassessed by morphology, cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), caspase 3 activation, and annexin V staining. PAS treatment induced Bax proapoptotic conformational change, Bax movement from the cytosol to the mitochondria, and cytochrome c release, indicating that PAS induced apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. PAS induced approximately 3-fold up-regulation of proapoptotic Noxa protein and mRNA levels. In addition, Noxa was found unexpectedly to be bound to Bcl-2 in PAS-treated cells. PAS treatment of CLL cells failed to up-regulate p53, suggesting that PAS induced apoptosis independently of p53. Furthermore, PAS induced apoptosis in CLL isolates with p53 gene deletion in more than 97% of cells. Normal B lymphocytes were as sensitive to PAS-induced Noxa up-regulation and apoptosis as were CLL cells. However, both T lymphocytes and bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cells were relatively resistant to PAS. Our data suggest that PAS may represent a novel class of drug that induces apoptosis in CLL cells independently of p53 status by a mechanism involving Noxa up-regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-11-190587DOI Listing
August 2009

HHV-6 DNA throughout the tissues of two stem cell transplant patients with chromosomally integrated HHV-6 and fatal CMV pneumonitis.

Br J Haematol 2009 May 17;145(3):394-8. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine and Motol University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, The Czech Republic.

Two patients with the characteristic high human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) DNA loads in peripheral blood caused by chromosomally integrated (CI) virus received a haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) from a donor without CI HHV-6. Both patients died in consequence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonitis. At autopsy, high amounts of CMV DNA were detected in lungs but at much lower levels in other organs. In contrast HHV-6 DNA was detected at high levels throughout the organs with the exception of donor-derived haematopoietic tissue. In individuals with chromosomal integration, HHV-6 DNA is found in every tissue of recipient origin indicating inheritance through the germ line.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07622.xDOI Listing
May 2009

Human herpesvirus 6 integrates within telomeric regions as evidenced by five different chromosomal sites.

J Med Virol 2008 Nov;80(11):1952-8

Department of Haematology, Royal Free & University College Medical School (Hampstead Campus), London, United Kingdom.

Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was used to investigate the chromosomal integration sites of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated leukocytes and B lymphocytes from Epstein-Barr virus transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Five different chromosomal integration sites were found in nine individuals. Only one site was identified in each individual, each site was in the vicinity of the telomeric region and was on either the p or q arm of only one of the two chromosome homologues. The sites were 9q34.3, 10q26.3, 11p15.5, 17p13.3, and 19q 13.4, of which three have not been previously identified. For 9q34.3 the site of integration was further mapped using a locus-specific probe for 9q34.3 together with a pan-telomeric probe and both co-localized with the HHV-6 signal. Similarly an arm-specific telomeric probe for 19q co-localized with the HHV-6 signal. It was therefore concluded that the site of integration is actually within the telomere. The number of viral DNA copies/cell was calculated in blood, LCL cells and hair follicles and was one or more in every case for each of the nine individuals. This result was confirmed by FISH where 100% of cells gave an HHV-6 signal. These findings add to previous reports suggesting that integrated HHV-6 DNA is found in every cell in the body and transmitted vertically. Finally, including our data, worldwide seven different chromosomal sites of HHV-6 integration have now been identified. Large epidemiological studies of chromosomal integration are required to identify further telomeric sites, geographical or racial variation and possible clinical consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.21299DOI Listing
November 2008

p53-mediated apoptosis of CLL cells: evidence for a transcription-independent mechanism.

Blood 2008 Nov 5;112(9):3827-34. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Department of Hematology, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, United Kingdom.

The p53 protein plays a key role in securing the apoptotic response of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells to genotoxic agents. Transcriptional induction of proapoptotic proteins including Puma are thought to mediate p53-dependent apoptosis. In contrast, recent studies have identified a novel nontranscriptional mechanism, involving direct binding of p53 to antiapoptotic proteins including Bcl-2 at the mitochondrial surface. Here we show that the major fraction of p53 induced in CLL cells by chlorambucil, fludarabine, or nutlin 3a was stably associated with mitochondria, where it binds to Bcl-2. The Puma protein, which was constitutively expressed in a p53-independent manner, was modestly up-regulated following p53 induction. Pifithrin alpha, an inhibitor of p53-mediated transcription, blocked the up-regulation of Puma and also of p21(CIP1). Surprisingly, pifithrin alpha dramatically augmented apoptosis induction by p53-elevating agents and also accelerated the proapoptotic conformation change of the Bax protein. These data suggest that direct interaction of p53 with mitochondrial antiapoptotic proteins including Bcl-2 is the major route for apoptosis induction in CLL cells and that p53's transcriptional targets include proteins that impede this nontranscriptional pathway. Therefore, strategies that block up-regulation of p53-mediated transcription may be of value in enhancing apoptosis induction of CLL cells by p53-elevating drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-05-156380DOI Listing
November 2008

Deletions adjacent to BCR and ABL1 breakpoints occur in a substantial minority of chronic myeloid leukemia patients with masked Philadelphia rearrangements.

Cancer Genet Cytogenet 2008 Apr;182(2):111-5

Department of Haematology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.

Deletions at the t(9;22) breakpoint regions, found in 15% of chronic myeloid leukemia patients (CML) with an overt Philadelphia (Ph) translocation, are associated with an adverse disease prognosis in patients receiving interferon-alpha therapy. The incidence of deletions has been shown to vary for different cytogenetic subgroups of CML, with a significantly higher incidence of deletion in patients with a variant Ph translocation. To date, however, the frequency of such deletions in the subgroup of CML patients in whom the BCR/ABL1 fusion arises via submicroscopic chromosomal insertion (masked Ph) has not been investigated. We report the evaluation of 14 patients with masked Ph-positive CML for the presence of deletions extending 3' from BCR and 5' from ABL1 using two triple-color BCR/ABL probes. Deletions were identified in 3 patients (21%), encompassing sequences 5' to ABL1 in two of these and sequences 3' to BCR in the remaining patient, thus demonstrating that the phenomenon is a significant feature of the masked Ph CML subgroup. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with the notion that loss of genomic material is a potential side effect of any DNA breakage event at the 9q34.1 and 22q11.2 chromosomal regions, regardless of the subsequent mechanism of chromosomal rearrangement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2008.01.007DOI Listing
April 2008

Human herpesvirus 6 chromosomal integration in immunocompetent patients results in high levels of viral DNA in blood, sera, and hair follicles.

J Clin Microbiol 2006 Apr;44(4):1571-4

Centre for Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, Royal Free and University College Medical School (UCL campus), Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, 46 Cleveland St., London W1T 4JF, United Kingdom.

Six immunocompetent patients with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) chromosomal integration had HHV-6 and beta-globin DNA quantified in various samples by PCR. The mean HHV-6 DNA concentration (log(10) copies/milliliter) in blood was 7.0 (>/=1 HHV-6 DNA copies/leukocyte), and in serum it was 5.3 (>/=1 HHV-6 DNA copies/lysed cell). The mean HHV-6 DNA load (log(10) copies)/hair follicle was 4.2 (>/=1 copies/hair follicle cell), demonstrating that viral integration is not confined to blood cells. The characteristically high HHV-6 DNA levels in chromosomal integration may confound laboratory diagnosis of HHV-6 infection and should be given due consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.44.4.1571-1574.2006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448653PMC
April 2006

Transmission of integrated human herpesvirus 6 through stem cell transplantation: implications for laboratory diagnosis.

J Infect Dis 2006 Apr 22;193(7):912-6. Epub 2006 Feb 22.

Centre for Virology, Division of Infection and Immunity, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, United Kingdom.

We identified a stem cell donor with chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 and monitored the recipient for HHV-6 after transplantation. The appearance and subsequent increase in HHV-6 load paralleled engraftment and an increase in white blood cell count. Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed integrated HHV-6 on chromosome band 17p13.3 in the donor and in the recipient after transplantation but not in the recipient before transplantation. The increase in viral load due to the genetic transmission of integrated HHV-6 could have been misinterpreted as substantial active infection and, thus, led to the administration of toxic antiviral therapy. We suggest that the confounding influence of integration be considered in laboratory investigations associating HHV-6 with disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/500838DOI Listing
April 2006

Survival implications of molecular heterogeneity in variant Philadelphia-positive chronic myeloid leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2003 May;121(3):419-27

University College London, Department of Academic Haematology, London, UK.

The BCR-ABL fusion in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is generated by the Philadelphia (Ph) translocation t(9;22) or, in 10% of patients, variants thereof (vPh). Deletion encompassing the reciprocal product (ABL-BCR) from the derivative chromosome 9 [der(9)] occurs in 15% of all patients, but with greater frequency in vPh patients. Reports of physical separation of ABL-BCR in non-deleted patients, as well as evolution from classical to variant Ph, introduce further heterogeneity to the vPh subgroup and raise the possibility that such translocations may herald disease progression. Survival analyses, however, have thus far yielded contradictory results. We assessed the frequency of der(9) deletions, ABL-BCR abrogation, cytogenetic evolution and cryptic rearrangement in a large cohort of 54 patients with vPh CML. Deletions encompassing ABL-BCR were detected in 37% of patients, consistent with a model in which a greater number of chromosome breaks increases the risk of genomic loss. The components of ABL-BCR were physically separated in a further 52% of patients while fused in the remaining 11%. Evolution from classical to vPh was demonstrated in three patients. The difference in survival, as indicated by Kaplan-Meier analysis, was marked between classical and vPh patients (105 vs 60 months respectively; P = 0.0002). Importantly, this difference disappeared when patients with deletions were removed from the analysis. Our study showed that, despite the existence of several levels of genomic heterogeneity in variant Ph-positive CML, der(9) deletion status is the key prognostic factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2003.04291.xDOI Listing
May 2003

Rescue of the lethal scl(-/-) phenotype by the human SCL locus.

Blood 2002 Jun;99(11):3931-8

University of Cambridge, Department of Haematology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2XY, United Kingdom.

The stem cell leukemia (SCL) gene encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor with a critical role in the development of both blood and endothelium. Loss-of-function studies have shown that SCL is essential for the formation of hematopoietic stem cells, for subsequent erythroid development and for yolk sac angiogenesis. SCL exhibits a highly conserved pattern of expression from mammals to teleost fish. Several murine SCL enhancers have been identified, each of which directs reporter gene expression in vivo to a subdomain of the normal SCL expression pattern. However, regulatory elements necessary for SCL expression in erythroid cells remain to be identified and the size of the chromosomal domain needed to support appropriate SCL transcription is unknown. Here we demonstrate that a 130-kilobase (kb) yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing the human SCL locus completely rescued the embryonic lethal phenotype of scl(-/-) mice. Rescued YAC(+) scl(-/-) mice were born in appropriate Mendelian ratios, were healthy and fertile, and exhibited no detectable abnormality of yolk sac, fetal liver, or adult hematopoiesis. The human SCL protein can therefore substitute for its murine homologue. In addition, our results demonstrate that the human SCL YAC contains the chromosomal domain necessary to direct expression to the erythroid lineage and to all other tissues in which SCL performs a nonredundant essential function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.v99.11.3931DOI Listing
June 2002
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