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Int J Hematol. 2012 Jan;95(1):77-85. doi: 10.1007/s12185-011-0986-5. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

TCL1A gene involvement in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia in Japanese patients.

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Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan.


T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare type of peripheral T-cell leukemia. In this study, we examined the clinical and biological characteristics of 11 Japanese patients with T-PLL. Median age was 74 years, with male predominance. Median lymphocyte frequency was 85.3% in blood. Physical characteristics were splenomegaly (36.4%), tiny lymph adenopathy (63.6%), skin lesion (9.1%) and pleural effusion (27.3%). Median survival was 30.1 months, despite treatment with various chemotherapeutic modalities. Although complex chromosomal abnormalities were observed in 5 of 11 cases (45.5%), typical 14q32 and Xq28 abnormalities were not detected. TCL1A mRNA expression was observed in 6 of 11 cases (54.5%) on real-time quantitative PCR. In 5 of these 6 cases, flow cytometric analysis and/or immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression of TCLA1 protein. Split signals for the TCL1 region on fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed rearrangement in 3 out of 7 cases evaluated. These cases corresponded to cases that were positive for TCL1A expression, suggesting that rearrangement of the TCL1 region induced high expression of TCL1A gene. In summary, a substantial number of T-PLL cases in Japan had abnormal expression of TCL1A, probably due to rearrangement of TCL1 region. Expression and/or rearrangement of TCL1A may, therefore, be a useful marker for diagnosing T-PLL, regardless of chromosomal abnormalities.

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