Chronic lymphocytic leukemia-associated chromosomal abnormalities and miRNA deregulation
Yvonne Kiefer1, Christoph Schulte2, Markus Tiemann2, Joern Bullerdiek1
1Center for Human Genetics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany; 2Hematopathology Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Abstract: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common leukemia in adults. By cytogenetic investigations major subgroups of the disease can be identified that reflect different routes of tumor development. Of these chromosomal deviations, trisomy 12 and deletions of parts of either the long arm of chromosome 13, the long arm of chromosome 11, or the short arm of chromosome 17 are most commonly detected. In some of these aberrations the molecular target has been identified as eg, ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) in case of deletions of chromosomal region 11q22~23 and the genes encoding microRNAs miR-15a/16-1 as likely targets of deletions of chromosomal band 13q14.3. Of note, these aberrations do not characterize independent subgroups but often coexist within the metaphases of one tumor. Generally, complex aberrations are associated with a worse prognosis than simple karyotypic alterations. Due to smaller sizes of the missing segment the detection of recurrent deletions is not always possible by means of classical cytogenetics but requires more advanced techniques as in particular fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Nevertheless, at this time it is not recommended to replace classical cytogenetics by FISH because this would miss additional information given by complex or secondary karyotypic alterations. However, the results of cytogenetic analyses allow the stratification of prognostic and predictive groups of the disease. Of these, the group characterized by deletions involving TP53 is clinically most relevant. In the future refined methods as eg, array-based comparative genomic hybridization will supplement the existing techniques to characterize CLL.
Keywords: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chromosomal abnormality, miRNA deregulation
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