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Blood. 1995 Oct 15;86(8):3173-80.

The expression pattern of erythrocyte/megakaryocyte-related transcription factors GATA-1 and the stem cell leukemia gene correlates with hematopoietic differentiation and is associated with outcome of acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical College, Japan.


To understand the clinical implications of transcription factors and their biologic roles during cellular differentiation in the hematopoietic system, we examined the expression of GATA-1, GATA-2, and stem cell leukemia (SCL) gene in human leukemia cell lines and various leukemia patients using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Cell lines exhibiting megakaryocytic or erythrocytic phenotypes had GATA-1, GATA-2, and SCL gene transcripts, while monocytic cell lines had no detectable GATA-1, GATA-2, or SCL gene mRNA. In some myeloid cell lines, GATA-1 expression, but not SCL gene expression, was detected; GATA-1 expression in HL-60 cells was downregulated during the process of monocytic differentiation. We next examined GATA-1, GATA-2, and SCL gene expression in 110 leukemia samples obtained from 76 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 19 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and 15 with chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis (CML-BC). SCL gene expression was usually accompanied by GATA-1 expression and was preferentially detected in patients with leukemia exhibiting megakaryocytic or erythrocytic phenotypes, while patients with monocytic leukemia were clustered in the group with no detectable GATA-1 expression. None of the patients with ALL or CML-lymphoid-BC expressed SCL. De novo AML patients with SCL gene expression had a lower complete remission (CR) rate and had a significantly poorer prognosis. Among the patients with AML not expressing SCL, a high percentage of patients with CD7+ AML and CD19+ AML had detectable GATA-1, while patients with GATA-1-negative AML had the best CR rate (87.5%). Our results suggest that the expression pattern of transcription factors reflects the lineage potential of leukemia cells, and GATA-1 and SCL gene expression may have prognostic value for the outcome of patients with AML.

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