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Leukemia. 1991 Oct;5(10):854-60.

The product of the proto-oncogene c-kit (P145c-kit) is a human bone marrow surface antigen of hemopoietic precursor cells which is expressed on a subset of acute non-lymphoblastic leukemic cells.

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Section for Transplantation Immunology and Immunohematology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


A monoclonal antibody (17F11) was raised by immunization of a Balb/c mouse with leukemic blasts from a patient with acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (ANLL). This antibody recognizes most leukemic blasts of myeloid but not of lymphoid lineage and no peripheral blood cells. By screening NIH-3T3 fibroblasts transfected with the human proto-oncogene c-kit (NIH-3T3/hckit) it could be shown that 17F11 specifically recognizes the gene product P145c-kit. Immunofluorescence analysis on normal hemopoietic cells revealed that 17F11 weakly stains 1-3% of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNC). By FACS sorting and colony assays it could be shown that granulocyte--macrophage progenitor cells could be enriched 10-20-fold, granulocyte progenitors 50-80-fold, and erythroid and multipotential progenitor cells 15-20-fold, in the 17F11 positive fraction. Double fluorescence analysis revealed that P145c-kit is co-expressed on 40-60% of the CD34 positive BMMNC. Finally, these data show that P145c-kit is expressed on blast cells from most patients with ANLL (26/30) and chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis (7/9), but is absent on blasts from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia expressing the T-, B-lineage, or common ALL phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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