The biological basis of essential thrombocythemia (ET) patients lacking known mutations is still unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate hematopoietic differentiation and are deregulated in several hematopoietic malignancies. However, miRNA expression in ET patients has been poorly explored. We performed miRNA profiling in platelets from 19 ET patients and 10 healthy controls. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed two well-separated clusters between patients and controls, indicating that ET platelets had a characteristic 70-miRNA signature (P < 0.0001), 68 of which were downregulated. According to the mutational status, three differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-15a (P = 0.045), miR-150 (P = 0.001) and miR-519a (P = 0.036), were identified. A 40-miRNA signature was identified characterizing JAK2V617F-positive ET patients. Eight genes, whose interaction with the miRNAs could activate the JAK/STAT pathway were identified. An inverse correlation was observed between miRNAs expression and their target genes for SOCS1 and miR-221, SOCS3 and miR-221, SOCS3 and miR-203, and PTPN11 and miR-23a. All three miRNAs were upregulated in JAK2V617F-negative ET patients. SOCS1 and SOCS3 were validated as targets of miR-221 and miR-203, respectively. In summary, our study shows that platelets from JAK2V617F-negative ET patients harbor a specific miRNA signature that can participate in the modulation of the JAK/STAT pathway through regulation of key genes as SOCS1 and SOCS3.
Multiple myeloma (myeloma in short) is an incurable cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells that comprise 13% of all hematological malignancies. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has improved treatment significantly, but inherent and acquired resistance to the drug remains a problem. We here show that bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity was completely dampened when cells were supplemented with cysteine or its derivative, glutathione (GSH) in ANBL-6 and INA-6 myeloma cell lines. GSH is a major component of the antioxidative defense in eukaryotic cells. Increasing intracellular GSH levels fully abolished bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity and transcriptional changes. Elevated intracellular GSH levels blocked bortezomib-induced nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2, NRF2)-associated stress responses, including upregulation of the xCT subunit of the Xc- cystine-glutamate antiporter. INA-6 cells conditioned to increasing bortezomib doses displayed reduced bortezomib sensitivity and elevated xCT levels. Inhibiting Xc- activity potentiated bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity in myeloma cell lines and primary cells, and re-established sensitivity to bortezomib in bortezomib-conditioned cells. We propose that intracellular GSH level is the main determinant of bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity in a subset of myeloma cells, and that combined targeting of the proteasome and the Xc- cystine-glutamate antiporter can circumvent bortezomib resistance.
CALR mutations are identified in about 30% of JAK2/MPL-unmutated myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) including essential thrombocythemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis. Although the molecular pathogenesis of CALR mutations leading to MPNs has been studied using in vitro cell lines models, how mutant CALR may affect developmental hematopoiesis remains unknown. Here we took advantage of the zebrafish model to examine the effects of mutant CALR on early hematopoiesis and model human CALR-mutated MPNs. We identified three zebrafish genes orthologous to human CALR, referred to as calr, calr3a and calr3b. The expression of CALR-del52 and CALR-ins5 mutants caused an increase in the hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells followed by thrombocytosis without affecting normal angiogenesis. The expression of CALR mutants also perturbed early developmental hematopoiesis in zebrafish. Importantly, morpholino knockdown of mpl but not epor or csf3r could significantly attenuate the effects of mutant CALR. Furthermore, the expression of mutant CALR caused jak-stat signaling activation in zebrafish that could be blocked by JAK inhibitors (ruxolitinib and fedratinib). These findings showed that mutant CALR activates jak-stat signaling through an mpl-dependent mechanism to mediate pathogenic thrombopoiesis in zebrafish, and illustrated that the signaling machinery related to mutant CALR tumorigenesis are conserved between human and zebrafish.
The outcome of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph - ALL) relapsing after pediatric-inspired front-line therapy is ill known. Here 229 relapsing Ph - ALL younger adults (18-63 years) treated within the Group for Research on Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (GRAALL)-2003/-2005 trials were considered. Salvage regimens consisted of potentially curative therapies in 194 cases, low-intensity therapies in 21, allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT) in 6 and best supportive care in 8. Overall, 77 patients received allo-SCT after relapse. The median follow-up was 3.1 years. A second complete remission (CR2) was achieved in 121 patients (53%). In multivariate analysis, only younger age = 18 months (P = 0.009) predicted CR2. Overall survival (OS) at 2 and 5 years was 19.3% (14-24%) and 13.3% (8-18%), respectively. In CR2 patients, disease-free survival (DFS) at 2 and 5 years was 29.0% (21-38%) and 25% (17-33%). In multivariate analysis, CR1 duration >= 18 months and allo-SCT after relapse were associated with longer DFS (P= 18 months and if allo-SCT can be performed in CR2. New therapies are definitely needed for these patients.
Periostin is an extracellular matrix protein that is implicated in the biology of normal bone remodeling and in different cancer cell growth and metastasis. However, there is no information on the role of periostin in multiple myeloma (MM). Thus, we evaluated periostin in six myeloma cell lines in vitro; in the bone marrow plasma and serum of 105 newly diagnosed symptomatic MM (NDMM) patients and in the serum of 23 monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), 33 smoldering MM (SMM) patients, 30 patients at the plateau phase post-first-line therapy, 30 patients at first relapse and 30 healthy controls. We found high levels of periostin in the supernatants of myeloma cell lines compared with ovarian cancer cell lines that were not influenced by the incubation with the stromal cell line HS5. In NDMM patients the bone marrow plasma periostin was almost fourfold higher compared with the serum levels of periostin and correlated with the presence of fractures and of diffuse magnetic resonance imaging pattern of marrow infiltration. Serum periostin was elevated in NDMM patients compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients and correlated with advanced disease stage, high lactate dehydrogenase, increased activin-A, increased bone resorption and reduced bone formation. Patients at first relapse had also elevated periostin compared with healthy controls, MGUS and SMM patients, while even patients at the plateau phase had elevated serum periostin compared with healthy controls. These results support an important role of periostin in the biology of myeloma and reveal periostin as a possible target for the development of antimyeloma drugs.
In Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-ACRIN E4A03, on completion of four cycles of therapy, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients had the option of proceeding to autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplant (ASCT) or continuing on their assigned therapy lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (Ld) or lenalidomide plus high-dose dexamethasone (LD). This landmark analysis compared the outcome of 431 patients surviving their first four cycles of therapy pursuing early ASCT to those continuing on their assigned therapy. Survival distributions were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with log-rank test. Ninety patients (21%) opted for early ASCT. The 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year survival probability estimates were higher for early ASCT versus no early ASCT at 99, 93, 91, 85 and 80% versus 94, 84, 75, 65 and 57%, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) in the early versus no early ASCT group was not reached (NR) versus 5.78 years. In patients = 65 years of age, median OS in the early versus no early ASCT was NR versus 5.11 years. ASCT dropped out of statistical significance (P=0.080). Patients opting for ASCT after induction Ld/LD had a higher survival probability and improvement in OS regardless of dexamethasone dose density.
Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is a lymphoproliferative disorder of cytotoxic cells. T-cell LGL (T-LGL) leukemia is characterized by accumulation of cytotoxic T cells in blood and infiltration of the bone marrow, liver or spleen. Population-based studies have not been reported in LGL leukemia. We present clinical characteristics, natural history and risk factors for poor survival in patients with LGL leukemia using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) and the United States National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). LGL leukemia is an extremely rare disease with the incidence of 0.2 cases per 1 000 000 individuals. The median age at diagnosis was 66.5 years with females likely to be diagnosed at 3 years earlier compared with males. Analysis of patient-level data using NCDB (n= 978) showed that 45% patients with T-LGL leukemia required some form of systemic treatment at the time of diagnosis. T-LGL leukemia patients have reduced survival compared with general population, with a median overall survival of 9 years. Multivariate analysis showed that age>60 years at the time of diagnosis and the presence of significant comorbidities were independent predictors of poor survival.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous neoplasm characterized by the accumulation of complex genetic alterations responsible for the initiation and progression of the disease. Translating genomic information into clinical practice remained challenging with conflicting results regarding the impact of certain mutations on disease phenotype and overall survival (OS) especially when clinical variables are controlled for when interpreting the result. We sequenced the coding region for 62 genes in 468 patients with secondary AML (sAML) and primary AML (pAML). Overall, mutations in FLT3, DNMT3A, NPM1 and IDH2 were more specific for pAML whereas UTAF1, STAG2, BCORL1, BCOR, EZH2, JAK2, CBL, PRPF8, SF3B1, ASXL1 and DHX29 were more specific for sAML. However, in multivariate analysis that included clinical variables, only FLT3 and DNMT3A remained specific for pAML and EZH2, BCOR, SF3B1 and ASXL1 for sAML. When the impact of mutations on OS was evaluated in the entire cohort, mutations in DNMT3A, PRPF8, ASXL1, CBL EZH2 and TP53 had a negative impact on OS; no mutation impacted OS favorably; however, in a cox multivariate analysis that included clinical data, mutations in DNMT3A, ASXL1, CBL, EZH2 and TP53 became significant. Thus, controlling for clinical variables is important when interpreting genomic data in AML.