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Leukemia. 1994 Apr;8(4):574-7.

Expression of the X-linked agammaglobulinemia gene, btk in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.


The gene which causes X-linked agammaglobulinemia, btk, has recently been identified as a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase expressed almost exclusively in B cells, and at all stages of B-cell differentiation. To assess the possibility of involvement of this gene in childhood B-cell malignancies, cells from 23 pediatric patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia were examined for expression and alteration of the Btk protein and also for mutations in the btk gene. Btk proteins, similar in both molecular weight and quantity to those seen in unaffected individuals, were detected in whole cell lysates from the blasts of 12/12 patients indicating that no abnormal protein was present. cDNAs from the leukemic blasts of all 23 patients were screened with specific primers covering the coding region of the btk cDNA for mutations using single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. No mutations were found but a nucleotide polymorphism was identified in 4/23 patients at the 3' end of btk. Although the sample size in this study was relatively small, these data suggest that btk does not appear to play a critical role in childhood B-cell leukemias.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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