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Homminga I.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Langerak A.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | de Rooi J.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | And 24 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2011

To identify oncogenic pathways in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), we combined expression profiling of 117 pediatric patient samples and detailed molecular-cytogenetic analyses including the Chromosome Conformation Capture on Chip (4C) method. Two T-ALL subtypes were identified that lacked rearrangements of known oncogenes. One subtype associated with cortical arrest, expression of cell cycle genes, and ectopic NKX2-1 or NKX2-2 expression for which rearrangements were identified. The second subtype associated with immature T cell development and high expression of the MEF2C transcription factor as consequence of rearrangements of MEF2C, transcription factors that target MEF2C, or MEF2C-associated cofactors. We propose NKX2-1, NKX2-2, and MEF2C as T-ALL oncogenes that are activated by various rearrangements. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Gieseke F.,Research Institute Childrens Cancer Center | Mang P.,University of Tubingen | Viebahn S.,University of Tubingen | Sonntag I.,University of Tubingen | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2012

Cell surface glycosylation has important regulatory functions in the maturation, act-ivation, and homeostasis of lymphocytes. The family of human sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectins (siglecs) comprises inhibitory as well as activating receptors intimately involved in the regulation of immune responses. Analyses of the interaction between siglecs and glycans are hampered by the low affinity of this interaction. Therefore, we expressed siglec-7 in eukaryotic cells, allowing for glycosylation, and oligomerized the protein in analogy to MHC tetramers. Using this tool, flow cytometric analysis of lymphocytes became possible. Sialic acid-dependent binding of siglec-7 tetramers was confirmed by glycan array analysis and loss of siglec tetramer binding after neuraminidase treatment of lymphocytes. In contrast to most lymphocyte subpopulations, which showed high siglec-7 ligand expression, B-cell subpopulations could be further subdivided according to different siglec-7 ligand expression levels. We also analyzed blasts from acute lymphoblastic leukemias of the B-cell lineage as well as the T-cell lineage, since malignant transformation is often associated with aberrant cell surface glycosylation. While pediatric T-ALL blasts highly expressed siglec-7 ligands, siglec-7 ligands were barely detectable on cALL blasts. Taken together, oligomerization of recombinant soluble siglec-7 enabled flow cytometric identification of physiologic lymphocyte subpopulations and malignant blasts. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Gallo Llorente L.,University of Hamburg | Luther H.,University of Hamburg | Schneppenheim R.,University of Hamburg | Zimmermann M.,Hannover Medical School | And 3 more authors.
Pediatric Blood and Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Alterations in the NOTCH1 signaling pathway are found in about 60% of pediatric T-ALL, but its impact on prognosis remains unclear. Procedure: We extended the previously published CoALL cohort (n=74) to a larger cohort (n=127) and additionally included 38 Argentine patients from ALL IC-BFM to potentially identify novel mutations and decipher a stronger discriminatory effect on the genotype/phenotype relationship with regard to early treatment response and long-term outcome. Results: Overall, 101 out of 165 (61.2%) T-ALL samples revealed at least one NOTCH1 mutation, 28 of whom had combined NOTCH1 and FBXW7 mutations. Eight T-ALL samples (4.8%) exclusively revealed FBXW7 mutations. Fifty-six T-ALL (33.9%) exhibited a wild-type configuration of either gene. Four novel NOTCH1 mutations were identified localized in the C-terminal PEST domain, in the rarely affected LNR repeat domain and in the ankyrin domain. Novel LNR mutations may contribute to a better understanding of the structure of the NOTCH1 negative regulatory region (NRR) and the R1946 mutation in the ankyrin domain may represent an unusual loss-of-function mutation. Conclusions: Overall, NOTCH1 pathway mutations did not affect the relapse rate and outcome of the extended T-ALL cohort uniformly treated according to CoALL protocols, although NOTCH1 mutations were associated with good response to induction therapy (P=0.009). Individually, HD and PEST domain mutations might exert distinct functional effects on cellular homeostasis under treatment NOTCH1 pathway activity with prognostic implications. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014;61:788-796. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Schneppenheim J.,University of Kiel | Huttl S.,University of Kiel | Kruchen A.,Research Institute Childrens Cancer Center | Fluhrer R.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 6 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2014

The invariant chain (CD74) mediates targeting of the MHCII complex to endosomal compartments, where CD74 undergoes degradation allowing MHCII to acquire peptides. We demonstrated recently that intramembrane proteolysis of the final membrane-bound N-terminal fragment (NTF) of CD74 is catalyzed by Signal-peptide-peptidase-like 2a (SPPL2a) and that this process is indispensable for development and function of B lymphocytes in mice. In SPPL2a-/- mice, homeostasis of these cells is disturbed by the accumulation of the unprocessed CD74 NTF. So far, evidence for this essential role of SPPL2a is restricted to mice. Nevertheless, inhibition of SPPL2a has been suggested as novel approach to target B cells for treating autoimmunity. Here, we characterize human B cell lines with a homozygous microdeletion on chromosome 15. We demonstrate that this deletion disrupts the SPPL2a genomic locus and leads to loss of SPPL2a transcript. Lymphoblastoid cell lines from patients with this deletion exhibit absence of SPPL2a at the protein level and show an accumulation of the CD74 NTF comparable to B cells from SPPL2a-/- mice. By this means, we present evidence that the role of SPPL2a in CD74 proteolysis is conserved in human B cells and provide support for modulation of SPPL2a activity as a therapeutic concept. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Escherich G.,University of Hamburg | Horstmann M.A.,University of Hamburg | Horstmann M.A.,Research Institute Childrens Cancer Center | Zimmermann M.,Hannover Medical School | Janka-Schaub G.E.,University of Hamburg
Leukemia | Year: 2010

In this study, the long-term outcome of 1818 patients treated in five consecutive clinical trials (the cooperative study group for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (COALL) 82, 85, 89, 92 and 97) from 24 cooperating centres in Germany is reported. The probability of event-free survival (pEFS) improved significantly from the first two trials conducted in the 1980s (COALL 82 and COALL 85) to the three trials conducted in the 1990s (COALL 89, 92 and 97) (P0.001). Through all COALL studies, age 10 years and initial white blood cell count (WBC) 50 × 10 9 /l and pro-B immunophenotype were of significant prognostic relevance. A refinement of risk assessment has been achieved by in vitro drug sensitivity testing in COALL 92 and 97. In patients with very sensitive leukaemic cells, therapy could be reduced without loss of efficacy. In COALL 97, a further improvement in risk stratification was gained by the molecular assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) under treatment, which proved to have a superior prognostic effect when compared with in vitro drug sensitivity testing. Importantly, the gradual reduction in central nervous system (CNS) irradiation led to a decreased incidence of brain tumours as a second malignancy. In general, the prevention of treatment-related late effects will be one of the major issues in future studies. It remains to be shown whether prolonged infusions of anthracyclines, which have been implemented into the COALL studies after equal efficacy compared with short-time infusions was confirmed, will be associated with fewer cardiac late effects. Another way to prevent late effects may be a more refined risk assessment allowing for a reduction in cumulative treatment burden. A great challenge in the future will be to improve the overall treatment results, which very likely can only be achieved by the identification of molecularly defined subgroups to which novel, rational therapeutic strategies can be applied. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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