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Blood. 1995 May 15;85(10):2885-99.

CD44 variant isoforms in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a new independent prognostic factor.

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  • 1Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


Isoforms of the transmembrane glycoprotein CD44, generated by alternative RNA splicing, have been correlated to tumor dissemination. For evaluation of the potential role of CD44 variant isoforms in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), the presence of CD44 isoforms was analyzed in a large panel of reactive and neoplastic lymphoid tissues by immunohistochemical staining, as well as detection of CD44 variant RNAs by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Whereas the CD44 standard or hematopoietic isoform (CD44s), devoid of the variant regions, was expressed in all leukocyte subpopulations, the variant isoforms (CD44v) showed a highly restricted pattern of expression, mainly observed in epithelial layers of lymphoid tissues and subpopulations of leukocytes after stimulation. In addition to a strong expression of CD44s, variant isoforms containing CD44-6v in combination with other variant exons were observed predominantly in aggressive lymphoma and were associated with a shorter overall survival of patients (n = 138; P < .0001). Moreover, multivariate analysis indicated CD44-6v as a new independent prognostic parameter in high grade NHL in comparison with the risk groups defined by the International NHL Lymphoma Prognostic Factors Project (N Engl J Med 329:987, 1993).

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