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Blood. 2005 Mar 1;105(5):2036-41. Epub 2004 Oct 28.

ZAP-70 directly enhances IgM signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells that express unmutated immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region genes (IgV(H)) generally express ZAP-70, in contrast to normal B cells or most CLL cases with mutated IgV(H). Following IgM ligation, ZAP-70+ CLL cells had significantly higher levels of phosphorylated p72(Syk), BLNK, and phospholipase-Cgamma (PLCgamma) and had greater[Ca2+]i flux than did ZAP-70-negative CLL cases, including unusual ZAP-70-negative cases with unmutated IgV(H). IgM ligation of ZAP-70-negative CLL B cells infected with an adenovirus vector encoding ZAP-70 induced significantly greater levels of phosphorylated p72(Syk), BLNK, and PLCgamma and had greater[Ca2+]i flux than did similarly stimulated, noninfected CLL cells or CLL cells infected with a control adenovirus vector. We conclude that expression of ZAP-70 in CLL allows for more effective IgM signaling in CLL B cells, a feature that could contribute to the relatively aggressive clinical behavior generally associated with CLL cells that express unmutated IgV(H).

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