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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2008 Jan;47(1):8-20.

Identification of genes with abnormal expression changes in acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common and deadly forms of hematopoietic malignancies. We hypothesized that microarray studies could identify previously unrecognized expression changes that occur only in AML blasts. We were particularly interested in those genes with increased expression in AML, believing that these genes may be potential therapeutic targets. To test this hypothesis, we compared gene expression profiles between normal hematopoietic cells from 38 healthy donors and leukemic blasts from 26 AML patients. Normal hematopoietic samples included CD34+ selected cells (N = 18), unselected bone marrows (N = 10), and unselected peripheral bloods (N = 10). Twenty genes displayed AML-specific expression changes that were not found in the normal hematopoietic cells. Subsequent analyses using microarray data from 285 additional AML patients confirmed expression changes for 13 of the 20 genes. Seven genes (BIK, CCNA1, FUT4, IL3RA, HOMER3, JAG1, WT1) displayed increased expression in AML, while 6 genes (ALDHA1A, PELO, PLXNC1, PRUNE, SERPINB9, TRIB2) displayed decreased expression. Quantitative RT/PCR studies for the 7 over-expressed genes were performed in an independent set of 9 normal and 21 pediatric AML samples. All 7 over-expressed genes displayed an increased expression in the AML samples compared to normals. Three of the 7 over-expressed genes (WT1, CCNA1, and IL3RA) have already been linked to leukemogenesis and/or AML prognosis, while little is known about the role of the other 4 over-expressed genes in AML. Future studies will determine their potential role in leukemogenesis and their clinical significance.

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