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(1/925) Reduced folate carrier expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a mechanism for ploidy but not lineage differences in methotrexate accumulation.

Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the most active and widely used agents for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To elucidate the mechanism for higher accumulation of MTX polyglutamates (MTX-PG) in hyperdiploid ALL and lower accumulation in T-lineage ALL, expression of the reduced folate carrier (RFC) was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in ALL blasts isolated from newly diagnosed patients. RFC expression exhibited a 60-fold range among 29 children, with significantly higher expression in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL (median, 11.3) compared with nonhyperdiploid ALL (median, 2.1; P <.0006), but no significant difference between nonhyperdiploid B-lineage and T-lineage ALL. Furthermore, mRNA levels of RFC (mapped by FISH to chromosome 21) were significantly related to chromosome 21 copy number (P =.0013), with the highest expression in hyperdiploid ALL blasts with 4 copies of chromosome 21. To assess the functional significance of gene copy number, MTX-PG accumulation was compared in ALL blasts isolated from 121 patients treated with either low-dose MTX (LDMTX; n = 60) or high-dose MTX (HDMTX; n = 61). After LDMTX, MTX-PG accumulation was highest in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL with 4 copies of chromosome 21 (P =.011), but MTX-PG accumulation was not significantly related to chromosome 21 copy number after HDMTX (P =.24). These data show higher RFC expression as a mechanism for greater MTX accumulation in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL and indicate that lineage differences in MTX-PG accumulation are not due to lower RFC expression in T-lineage ALL.  (+info)

(2/925) Comparative genomic analysis of the interferon/interleukin-10 receptor gene cluster.

Interferons and interleukin-10 are involved in key aspects of the host defence mechanisms. Human chromosome 21 harbors the interferon/interleukin-10 receptor gene cluster linked to the GART gene. This cluster includes both components of the interferon alpha/beta-receptor (IFNAR1 and IFNAR2) and the second components of the interferon gamma-receptor (IFNGR2) and of the IL-10 receptor (IL10R2). We report here the complete gene content of this GART-cytokine receptor gene cluster and the use of comparative genomic analysis to identify chicken IFNAR1, IFNAR2, and IL10R2. We show that the large-scale structure of this locus is conserved in human and chicken but not in the pufferfish Fugu rubripes. This establishes that the receptor components of these host defense mechanisms were fixed in an ancestor of the amniotes. The extraordinary diversification of the interferon ligand family during the evolution of birds and mammals has therefore occurred in the context of a fixed receptor structure.  (+info)

(3/925) Distribution of haplotypes from a chromosome 21 region distinguishes multiple prehistoric human migrations.

Despite mounting genetic evidence implicating a recent origin of modern humans, the elucidation of early migratory gene-flow episodes remains incomplete. Geographic distribution of haplotypes may show traces of ancestral migrations. However, such evolutionary signatures can be erased easily by recombination and mutational perturbations. A 565-bp chromosome 21 region near the MX1 gene, which contains nine sites frequently polymorphic in human populations, has been found. It is unaffected by recombination and recurrent mutation and thus reflects only migratory history, genetic drift, and possibly selection. Geographic distribution of contemporary haplotypes implies distinctive prehistoric human migrations: one to Oceania, one to Asia and subsequently to America, and a third one predominantly to Europe. The findings with chromosome 21 are confirmed by independent evidence from a Y chromosome phylogeny. Loci of this type will help to decipher the evolutionary history of modern humans.  (+info)

(4/925) Induction of apoptosis in myeloid leukaemic cells by ribozymes targeted against AML1/MTG8.

The translocation (8;21)(q22;q22) is a karyotypic abnormality detected in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) M2 and results in the formation of the chimeric fusion gene AML1/MTG8. We previously reported that two hammerhead ribozymes against AML1/MTG8 cleave this fusion transcript and also inhibit the proliferation of myeloid leukaemia cell line Kasumi-1 which possesses t(8;21)(q22;q22). In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of inhibition of proliferation in myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by ribozymes. These ribozymes specifically inhibited the growth of Kasumi-1 cells, but did not affect the leukaemic cells without t(8;21)(q22;q22). We observed the morphological changes including chromatin condensation, fragmentation and the formation of apoptotic bodies in Kasumi-1 cells incubated with ribozymes for 7 days. In addition, DNA ladder formation was also detected after incubation with ribozymes which suggested the induction of apoptosis in Kasumi-1 cells by the AML1/MTG8 ribozymes. However, the ribozymes did not induce the expression of CD11b and CD14 antigens in Kasumi-1 cells. The above data suggest that these ribozymes therefore inhibit the growth of myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by the induction of apoptosis, but not differentiation. We conclude therefore that the ribozymes targeted against AML1/MTG8 may have therapeutic potential for patients with AML carrying t(8;21)(q22;q22) while, in addition, the product of the chimeric gene is responsible for the pathogenesis of myeloid leukaemia.  (+info)

(5/925) Transchromosomal mouse embryonic stem cell lines and chimeric mice that contain freely segregating segments of human chromosome 21.

At least 8% of all human conceptions have major chromosome abnormalities and the frequency of chromosomal syndromes in newborns is >0.5%. Despite these disorders making a large contribution to human morbidity and mortality, we have little understanding of their aetiology and little molecular data on the importance of gene dosage to mammalian cells. Trisomy 21, which results in Down syndrome (DS), is the most frequent aneuploidy in humans (1 in 600 live births, up to 1 in 150 pregnancies world-wide) and is the most common known genetic cause of mental retardation. To investigate the molecular genetics of DS, we report here the creation of mice that carry different human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) fragments as a freely segregating extra chromosome. To produce these 'transchromosomal' animals, we placed a selectable marker into Hsa21 and transferred the chromosome from a human somatic cell line into mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells using irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (XMMCT). 'Transchromosomal' ES cells containing different Hsa21 regions ranging in size from approximately 50 to approximately 0.2 Mb have been used to create chimeric mice. These mice maintain Hsa21 sequences and express Hsa21 genes in multiple tissues. This novel use of the XMMCT protocol is applicable to investigations requiring the transfer of large chromosomal regions into ES or other cells and, in particular, the modelling of DS and other human aneuploidy syndromes.  (+info)

(6/925) A contiguous 3-Mb sequence-ready map in the S3-MX region on 21q22.2 based on high- throughput nonisotopic library screenings.

Progress in complete genomic sequencing of human chromosome 21 relies on the construction of high-quality bacterial clone maps spanning large chromosomal regions. To achieve this goal, we have applied a strategy based on nonradioactive hybridizations to contig building. A contiguous sequence-ready map was constructed in the Down syndrome congenital heart disease (DS-CHD) region in 21q22.2, as a framework for large-scale genomic sequencing and positional candidate gene approach. Contig assembly was performed essentially by high throughput nonisotopic screenings of genomic libraries, prior to clone validation by (1) restriction digest fingerprinting, (2) STS analysis, (3) Southern hybridizations, and (4) FISH analysis. The contig contains a total of 50 STSs, of which 13 were newly isolated. A minimum tiling path (MTP) was subsequently defined that consists of 20 PACs, 2 BACs, and 5 cosmids covering 3 Mb between D21S3 and MX1. Gene distribution in the region includes 9 known genes (c21-LRP, WRB, SH3BGR, HMG14, PCP4, DSCAM, MX2, MX1, and TMPRSS2) and 14 new additional gene signatures consisting of cDNA selection products and ESTs. Forthcoming genomic sequence information will unravel the structural organization of potential candidate genes involved in specific features of Down syndrome pathogenesis.  (+info)

(7/925) The t(8;21) fusion protein, AML1/ETO, transforms NIH3T3 cells and activates AP-1.

The 8;21 translocation is the most common cytogenetic abnormality in human acute myelogenous leukemia, joining the AML1 gene on chromosome 21, to the ETO gene on chromosome 8, forming the AML1/ETO fusion gene. The AMLI/ETO fusion protein has been shown to function mainly as a transcriptional repressor of AML1 target genes and to block AML1 function in vitro and in vivo. However, AML1/ETO can also activate the BCL-2 promoter and cause enhanced hematopoietic progenitor self-renewal in vitro, suggesting gain-of-functions unique to the fusion protein. We used NIH3T3 cells to determine the transforming capacity of AML1/ETO, and to further characterize its mechanism of action. Expression of AML1/ETO in NIH3T3 cells caused cell-type specific cell death, and cellular transformation, characterized by phenotypic changes, anchorage-independent growth, and tumor formation in nude mice. In contrast, neither expression of AML1A, AML1B or ETO altered the normal growth pattern of the cells. To investigate the mechanism of transformation by AML1/ETO, we analysed the levels of activated, phosphorylated c-Jun (ser63) and other constituents of the AP-1 complex, in the presence of various AML1/ETO related proteins. Expression of AML1/ETO increased the level of c-Jun-P (ser63), and activated AP-1 dependent transcription, which was inhibited by expression of a dominant-negative c-Jun protein. Mutational analysis revealed that the runt homology domain (RHD) and a C-terminal transcriptional repression domain in AML1/ETO are required for transformation, activation of c-Jun and increased AP-1 activity. These results establish the transforming potential of the t(8;21) fusion protein and link this gain-of-function property to modulation of AP-1 activity.  (+info)

(8/925) Prevention of age-related aneuploidies by polar body testing of oocytes.

PURPOSE: We previously demonstrated that aneuploidy-free oocytes may be preselected by testing the first and second polar bodies removed from oocytes following their maturation and fertilization. The present paper describes the results of the application of the method in 659 in vitro fertilization cycles from patients of advanced maternal age. METHODS: Using micromanipulation techniques, 3943 oocytes were tested by polar body sampling and fluorescent on situ hybridization analysis using specific probes for chromosomes 13, 18, and 21. RESULTS: Fluorescent in situ hybridization results were available for 3217 (81.6%) of 3943 oocytes studied, of which 1388 (43.1%) had aneuploidies; 35.7% of the aneuploidies were of first meiotic division origin, and 26.1% of second meiotic division origin. Most errors in the first meiotic division were represented by chromatid malsegregation. The transfer of embryos deriving from 1558 of 1829 aneuploidy-free oocytes in 614 treatment cycles resulted in 131 clinical pregnancies and 88 healthy children born after confirmation of the polar body diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Polar body testing of oocytes provides an accurate and reliable approach for prevention of age-related aneuploidies in in vitro fertilization patients of advanced maternal age.  (+info)