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Leuk Res. 2008 Mar;32(3):383-93. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

Analysis of gene expression profile of TPM3-ALK positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma reveals overlapping and unique patterns with that of NPM-ALK positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, United States.


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) comprises a group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas characterized by the expression of the CD30/Ki-1 antigen. A subset of ALCL is characterized by chromosomal translocations involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene on chromosome 2. While the most common translocation is the t(2;5)(p23;q35) involving the nucleophosmin (NPM) gene on chromosome 5, up to 12 other translocations partners of the ALK gene have been identified. One of these is the t(1;2)(q25;p23) which results in the formation of the chimeric protein TPM3-ALK. While several of the signaling pathways induced by NPM-ALK have been elucidated, those involved in ALCLs harboring TPM3-ALK are largely unknown. In order to investigate the expression profiles of ALCLs carrying the NPM-ALK and TPM3-ALK fusions, we carried out cDNA microarray analysis of two ALCL tissue samples, one expressing the NPM-ALK fusion protein and the other the TPM3-ALK fusion protein. RNA was extracted from snap-frozen tissues, labeled with fluorescent dyes and analyzed using cDNAs microarray containing approximately 9,200 genes and expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Quantitative fluorescence RT-PCR was performed to validate the cDNA microarray data on nine selected gene targets. Our results show a significant overlap of genes deregulated in the NPM-ALK and TPM-ALK positive lymphomas. These deregulated genes are involved in diverse cellular functions, such as cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, proliferation, and adhesion. Interestingly, a subset of the genes was distinct in their expression pattern in the two types of lymphomas. More importantly, many genes that were not previously associated with ALK positive lymphomas were identified. Our results demonstrate the overlapping and unique transcriptional patterns associated with the NPM-ALK and TPM3-ALK fusions in ALCL.

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