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Leuk Res. 1998 Apr;22(4):341-53.

Z-138: a new mature B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line from a patient with transformed chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Department of Bioimmunotherapy, The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


We describe a new mature B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell line designated Z-138 that was derived from a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) whose disease underwent transformation to a rare, aggressive form of mature B-cell ALL. This cell line has an L3 morphology, ultrastructural characteristics of lymphoblasts, B-lineage surface markers and an immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangement identical to the rearrangement observed in the patient's blasts from whom the cell line was derived. Z-138 cells produce granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and high levels of granulocyte-CSF (G-CSF), but they do not exhibit a proliferative response to either cytokine. Both the patient's lymphoblasts and Z-138 cells exhibited cytogenetic abnormalities including t(8;14), t(14;18) and a chromosome 11 abnormality similar to the t(11;14) of the parental cells, resulting in marked overexpression of cyclin D1 (BCL-1 (PRAD1)) mRNA in Z-138 cells. Since these karyotypic anomalies have been associated with low grade (t(14;18)), intermediate grade (t(11;14)) and high grade (t(8;14)) lymphomas, their development may be involved in the unusual aggressive transformation of this patient's CLL.

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