In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) diagnostic samples and cell lines with unequivocal B cell precursor (common) or T cell precursor immunophenotypes, there is inappropriate or crosslineage IgH or T cell receptor β gene (TCR β) rearrangement in approximately 25% of the cases. The frequency of such rearrangements is lower in mature lymphoid neoplasms and acute myeloblastic leukemia. The most immature B lineage ALL ('null' ALL) has a much lower frequency of TCR gene rearrangement than the common variant of B cell precursor ALL and also has a high frequency of oligoclonal rearrangements of IgH genes. Non-T leukemic cells with inappropriately rearranged TCRβ gene did not necessarily have a rearranged TCRγ gene. Inappropriately rearranged IgH or TCR genes are usually not expressed at the mRNA level, and the gene for the TCR associated protein T3δ is not detectably expressed at the mRNA or protein levels in leukemias classified unambiguously as non-T. Five cases of acute leukemia with ambiguous or mixed lineage immunophenotypes (myeloid + T or myeloid + B) are described. These five had diverse patterns of IgH, TCRβ, and TCRγ rearrangement, and all expressed terminal transferase concomitantly with MY9 (CD33). The T3δ gene was expressed in two cases, which also expressed other T cell markers indicating that coordinated lymphoid lineage programs had been initiated. The implications of these observations for lineage-associated regulation of genes during normal differentiation and leukemogenesis are discussed.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1987|