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Leuk Res. 1998 Feb;22(2):125-34.

Correlation of N-ras point mutations with specific chromosomal abnormalities in primary myelodysplastic syndrome.

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Biophysics Institute Carlos Chagas Filho, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


A cytogenetic and N-ras point mutation study was done in patients with primary myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to evaluate the progression of preleukemic states to overt leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis was performed in 50 patients with MDS and clonal chromosomal abnormalities were detected in 19 (38%) of them. Patients with refractory anemia (RA) or with ringed sideroblasts (RARS) presented normal karyotypes or single abnormalities as del(5q) or -Y, while patients in more advanced states as RA with excess of blasts (RAEB), RAEB in transformation (RAEB-t) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) showed complex karyotypes and single abnormalities involving chromosomes 7 or 8, which were related to poor prognosis and elevated risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The frequency of ras activation was studied in these 50 patients with MDS. Samples of bone marrow were screened for oncogenic point mutations by DNA amplification followed by oligonucleotide hybridization analysis (PCR-ASO) at codon 12 of N-ras proto-oncogene. We detected N-ras point mutations in 21 patients (42%). Progression from MDS to AML was observed in 9 patients (18%). The correlation analysis between N-ras point mutations and specific chromosomal abnormalities indicated that although mutated N-ras was found in cells with del(5q) and monosomy 7, cells with those abnormalities and normal N-ras were also identified. Otherwise trisomy of chromosome 8 showed a correlation with N-ras point mutations and in all cases, patients showed progression of MDS to AML during the follow-up study. MDS comprises a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic disorders and probably several steps are implicated in the evolution to AML. In this work we suggest that one possible pathway of leukemogenesis in MDS includes N-ras point mutations in association with trisomy of chromosome 8.

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