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Exp Mol Pathol. 2007 Dec;83(3):459-61. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Zap-70 and CD38 as predictors of IgVH mutation in CLL.

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Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Zeta-chain (TCR)-associated protein kinase 70 kDa (Zap-70) and CD38 expression may be of prognostic significance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Previous studies indicate that Zap-70 and CD38 are usually positive in cases of CLL with unmutated immunoglobulin variable region genes (IgVH) and may be used to predict IgVH mutation status and prognosis. Usually cases of CLL positive for Zap-70 or CD38 indicate a worse prognosis. In the present investigation, 47 cases of CLL were evaluated for CD38 expression, and 17 cases were evaluated for both Zap-70 and CD38 expression. Of the 47 cases, 19 (40.4%) positively expressed CD38. Of the 17 cases evaluated for Zap-70, 11 (64.7%) were positive for Zap-70, while only 6 (35.3%) were positive for CD38 expression; the remaining cases were negative for CD38. The results of this study show that Zap-70 expression may be a better indicator of the mutational status of IgVH and prognosis of CLL than CD38 expression. In addition, CD38 negativity does not necessarily indicate that IgVH mutation has occurred. These data point to the need for a more extensive study to evaluate the significance of Zap-70 and CD38 expression as indicators of IgVH mutation status and prognosis of CLL patients.

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