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Identification of differentially expressed genes in AHI-1-mediated leukemic transformation in cutaneous t-cell lymphoma Kennah, Erin

Abstract

The oncogene Ahi-1 was recently identified through provirus insertional mutagenesis in murine leukemias and lymphomas. Its involvement in human leukemogenesis is demonstrated by gross perturbations in its expression in several leukemic cells lines, particularly in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) cell lines (Hut 78 and Hut 102). Hut 78 is derived from a patient with Sezary syndrome, a common leukemic variant of the human CTCL mycosis fungoides. Aberrant expression of AHI-1 mRNA and protein has been found in CD4⁺CD7⁻ leukemic Sezary cells from patients with Sezary syndrome. Moreover, stable suppression of AHI-1 using retroviral-mediated RNA interference in Hut 78 cells inhibits their transforming activity in vitro and in vivo. In an effort to identify genes involved in AHI-1-mediated leukemic transformation in CTCL, microarray analysis was performed to compare six RNA samples from AHI-1 suppressed Hut 78/sh4 cells to five samples from Hut 78 control cells. Limma and dChip analyses identified 218 and 95 differentially expressed genes, respectively, using a fold change criteria of > or < 2 and a p-value threshold of ≤ 0.01. After evaluation of both analyses, 21 genes were selected based upon interesting structural and functional information, specificity to hematopoietic cells or T-cells, and previous connections to cancer. Expression patterns of these 21 genes were validated by qRT-PCR with p-values < 0.05 ranging from 1.97 x 10⁻¹⁰ to 6.55 x 10⁻³, with the exception of BRDG1 at 5.88 x 10⁻². The observed up-regulation of both BIN1 and HCK in AHI-1 suppressed Hut 78/sh4 cells as compared to control cells further confirmed at the protein level. The tumor suppressor BIN1 is known to physically interact with c-MYC, which also exhibits differential protein expression in these cells. Characterization of BIN1 identified 4 isoforms all of which contain exon 10 and demonstrate alternative splicing of exons 12A and 13. Additionally, qRT-PCR results from primary Sezary samples indicate there is clinical significance in the expression changes detected for BIN1, HCK, REPS2, BRDG1, NKG7 and SPIB. These findings identify several new differentially expressed genes that may play critical roles in AHI-1-mediated leukemic transformation of human CTCL cells.

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