- No genetic evidence for involvement of Deltaretroviruses in adult patients with precursor and mature T-cell neoplasms (2007)
- Background The Deltaretrovirus genus comprises viruses that infect humans (HTLV), various simian species (STLV) and cattle (BLV). HTLV-I is the main causative agent in adult T-cell leukemia in endemic areas and some of the simian T-cell lymphotropic viruses have been implicated in the induction of malignant lymphomas in their hosts. BLV causes enzootic bovine leukosis in infected cattle or sheep. During the past few years several new Deltaretrovirus isolates have been described in various primate species. Two new HTLV-like viruses in humans have recently been identified and provisionally termed HTLV-III and HTLV-IV. In order to identify a broad spectrum of Deltaretroviruses by a single PCR approach we have established a novel consensus PCR based on nucleotide sequence data obtained from 42 complete virus isolates (HTLV-I/-II, STLV-I/-II/-III, BLV). The primer sequences were based on highly interspecies-conserved virus genome regions. We used this PCR to detect Deltaretroviruses in samples from adult patients with a variety of rare T-cell neoplasms in Germany. Results: The sensitivity of the consensus PCR was at least between 10-2 and 10-3 with 100% specificity as demonstrated by serial dilutions of cell lines infected with either HTLV-I, HTLV-II or BLV. Fifty acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) samples and 33 samples from patients with various rare mature T-cell neoplasms (T-PLL, Sezary syndrome and other T-NHL) were subsequently investigated. There were no cases with HTLV-I, HTLV-II or any other Deltaretroviruses. Conclusions: The results rule out a significant involvement of HTLV-I or HTLV-II in these disease entities and show that other related Deltaretroviruses are not likely to be involved. The newly established Deltaretrovirus PCR may be a useful tool for identifying new Deltaretroviruses.
- Expression of interleukin-18 receptor in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (2001)
- An excess of the proinflammatory substance IL-18 is present in joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and expression of IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) regulates IL-18 bioactivity in various cell types. We examined the expression of IL-18R alpha-chain and beta-chain and the biologic effects of IL-18 in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) after long-term culture. The presence of both IL-18R chains was a prerequisite for IL-18 signal transduction in FLS. However, all FLS cultures studied were either resistant or barely responsive to IL-18 stimulation as regards cell proliferation, expression of adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, and the release of interstitial collagenase and stromelysin, IL-6 and IL-8, prostaglandin E2, or nitric oxide. We conclude that the presence of macrophages or IL-18R+ T cells that can respond directly to IL-18 is essential for the proinflammatory effects of IL-18 in synovitis in RA. Open Access: Published: 14 November 2001 © 2002 Möller et al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd (Print ISSN 1465-9905; Online ISSN 1465-9913)
- Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by small interfering RNAs directed against Glioma Pathogenesis Related Protein (GliPR) expression (2010)
- Background: Previously, we showed that glioma pathogenesis related protein (GliPR) is induced in CEM T cells upon HIV-1 infection in vitro. To examine whether GliPR plays a role as HIV dependency factor (HDF), we tested the effect of GliPR suppression by siRNA on HIV-1 replication. Results: Induction of GliPR expression by HIV-1 was confirmed in P4-CCR5 cells. When GliPR was suppressed by siRNA, HIV-1 replication was significantly reduced as measured by HIV-1 transcript levels, HIV-1 p24 protein levels, and HIV-1 LTR-driven reporter gene expression, suggesting that GliPR is a cellular co-factor of HIV-1. Microarray analysis of uninfected HeLa cells following knockdown of GliPR revealed, among a multitude of gene expression alterations, a down-regulation of syndecan-1, syndecan-2, protein kinase C alpha (PRKCA), the catalytic subunit beta of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PRKACB), nuclear receptor co-activator 3 (NCOA3), and cell surface protein CD59 (protectin), all genes having relevance for HIV-1 pathology. Conclusions: The up-regulation of GliPR by HIV-1 and the early significant inhibition of HIV-1 replication mediated by knockdown of GliPR reveal GliPR as an important HIV-1 dependency factor (HDF), which may be exploited for HIV-1 inhibition.
- Clinical and molecular characterization of early T-cell precursor leukemia: a high-risk subgroup in adult T-ALL with a high frequency of FLT3 mutations (2012)
- A subgroup of pediatric acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) was characterized by a gene expression profile comparable to that of early T-cell precursors (ETPs) with a highly unfavorable outcome. We have investigated clinical and molecular characteristics of the ETP-ALL subgroup in adult T-ALL. As ETP-ALL represents a subgroup of early T-ALL we particularly focused on this cohort and identified 178 adult patients enrolled in the German Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Multicenter studies (05/93–07/03). Of these, 32% (57/178) were classified as ETP-ALL based on their characteristic immunophenotype. The outcome of adults with ETP-ALL was poor with an overall survival of only 35% at 10 years, comparable to the inferior outcome of early T-ALL with 38%. The molecular characterization of adult ETP-ALL revealed distinct alterations with overexpression of stem cell-related genes (BAALC, IGFBP7, MN1, WT1). Interestingly, we found a low rate of NOTCH1 mutations and no FBXW7 mutations in adult ETP-ALL. In contrast, FLT3 mutations, rare in the overall cohort of T-ALL, were very frequent and nearly exclusively found in ETP-ALL characterized by a specific immunophenotype. These molecular characteristics provide biologic insights and implications with respect to innovative treatment strategies (for example, tyrosine kinase inhibitors) for this high-risk subgroup of adult ETP-ALL.
- FLT3 mutations in Early T-Cell Precursor ALL characterize a stem cell like leukemia and imply the clinical use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (2013)
- Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) has been identified as high-risk subgroup of acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) with a high rate of FLT3-mutations in adults. To unravel the underlying pathomechanisms and the clinical course we assessed molecular alterations and clinical characteristics in a large cohort of ETP-ALL (n = 68) in comparison to non-ETP T-ALL adult patients. Interestingly, we found a high rate of FLT3-mutations in ETP-ALL samples (n = 24, 35%). Furthermore, FLT3 mutated ETP-ALL was characterized by a specific immunophenotype (CD2+/CD5-/CD13+/CD33-), a distinct gene expression pattern (aberrant expression of IGFBP7, WT1, GATA3) and mutational status (absence of NOTCH1 mutations and a low frequency, 21%, of clonal TCR rearrangements). The observed low GATA3 expression and high WT1 expression in combination with lack of NOTCH1 mutations and a low rate of TCR rearrangements point to a leukemic transformation at the pluripotent prothymocyte stage in FLT3 mutated ETP-ALL. The clinical outcome in ETP-ALL patients was poor, but encouraging in those patients with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (3-year OS: 74%). To further explore the efficacy of targeted therapies, we demonstrate that T-ALL cell lines transfected with FLT3 expression constructs were particularly sensitive to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In conclusion, FLT3 mutated ETP-ALL defines a molecular distinct stem cell like leukemic subtype. These data warrant clinical studies with the implementation of FLT3 inhibitors in addition to early allogeneic stem cell transplantation for this high risk subgroup.
- Antifungal management and resource use in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia after chemotherapy – retrospective analysis of changes over 3 yr in a German hospital (2013)
- OBJECTIVES: To describe changes in costs of managing hospitalised patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) after chemotherapy in Germany over 3 yr, with a special focus on prophylaxis and treatment patterns as well as resource use related to invasive fungal infections (IFI). METHODS: The study was conducted as a retrospective, single-centre chart review in patients with AML hospitalised for chemotherapy, neutropenia and infections after myelosuppressive chemotherapy from January 2004 to December 2006 in Germany. The following resource utilisation data were collected: inpatient stay, mechanical ventilation, parenteral feeding, diagnostics, systemic antifungal medication and cost-intensive concomitant medication. Direct medical costs were calculated from hospital provider perspective. RESULTS: A total of 471 episodes in 212 patients were included in the analysis. Occurrence of IFI decreased from 5.9% in 2004 to 1.9% in 2006. Mean (± standard deviation) hospital stay decreased from 28.7 ± 17.9 d in 2004 to 22.4 ± 11.8 d in 2006. From 2004 to 2006, the use of a single antifungal drug increased from 30.4% to 46.9%, whereas the use of multiple antifungal drugs decreased from 24.4% to 13.1%. The use of liposomal amphotericin B declined between 2004 and 2006 (21.4% vs. 3.8%) and caspofungin between 2005 and 2006 (19.3% vs. 8.1%). Total costs per episode declined from €19051 ± 19024 in 2004 to €13531 ± 9260 in 2006; major reductions were observed in the use of antimycotics and blood products as well as length of hospital stay. CONCLUSION: Analysis of real-life data from one single centre in Germany demonstrated a change in antifungal management of patients with AML between 2004/2005 and 2006, accompanied by a decline in total costs.
- Genomic instability and myelodysplasia with monosomy 7 consequent to EVI1 activation after gene therapy for chronic granulomatous disease (2010)
- Gene-modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) can provide ample clinical benefits to subjects suffering from X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD), a rare inherited immunodeficiency characterized by recurrent, often life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. Here we report on the molecular and cellular events observed in two young adults with X-CGD treated by gene therapy in 2004. After the initial resolution of bacterial and fungal infections, both subjects showed silencing of transgene expression due to methylation of the viral promoter, and myelodysplasia with monosomy 7 as a result of insertional activation of ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1). One subject died from overwhelming sepsis 27 months after gene therapy, whereas a second subject underwent an allogeneic HSC transplantation. Our data show that forced overexpression of EVI1 in human cells disrupts normal centrosome duplication, linking EVI1 activation to the development of genomic instability, monosomy 7 and clonal progression toward myelodysplasia.
- Low expression of T-cell transcription factor BCL11b predicts inferior survival in adult standard risk T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients (2014)
- Background: Risk stratification, detection of minimal residual disease (MRD), and implementation of novel therapeutic agents have improved outcome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but survival of adult patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) remains unsatisfactory. Thus, novel molecular insights and therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. Methods: We studied the impact of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11b (BCL11b), a key regulator in normal T-cell development, in T-ALL patients enrolled into the German Multicenter Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Study Group trials (GMALL; n = 169). The mutational status (exon 4) of BCL11b was analyzed by Sanger sequencing and mRNA expression levels were determined by quantitative real-time PCR. In addition gene expression profiles generated on the Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array (affymetrix) were used to investigate BCL11b low and high expressing T-ALL patients. Results: We demonstrate that BCL11b is aberrantly expressed in T-ALL and gene expression profiles reveal an association of low BCL11b expression with up-regulation of immature markers. T-ALL patients characterized by low BCL11b expression exhibit an adverse prognosis [5-year overall survival (OS): low 35% (n = 40) vs. high 53% (n = 129), P = 0.02]. Within the standard risk group of thymic T-ALL (n = 102), low BCL11b expression identified patients with an unexpected poor outcome compared to those with high expression (5-year OS: 20%, n = 18 versus 62%, n = 84, P < 0.01). In addition, sequencing of exon 4 revealed a high mutation rate (14%) of BCL11b. Conclusions: In summary, our data of a large adult T-ALL patient cohort show that low BCL11b expression was associated with poor prognosis; particularly in the standard risk group of thymic T-ALL. These findings can be utilized for improved risk prediction in a significant proportion of adult T-ALL patients, which carry a high risk of standard therapy failure despite a favorable immunophenotype.