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Genetic investigations of human hemopoiesis : studies of clonality and gene transfer to hemopoietic progenitors Hogge, Donna Eileen


In most neoplasms malignant change occurs in a single cell which then proliferates. My purpose was to explore methods to study the cell that gives rise to hemopoietic cancer and to investigate the abnormalities at a molecular level. Cytogenetic analysis of cells from individual hemopoietic colonies revealed that monosomy 7 syndrome, a hematologic disorder of childhood, arises in a primitive cell capable of differentiating down both myeloid and erythroid pathways. Long-term bone marrow cultures (LTC) from patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) favor the growth of Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) negative progenitors which, although cytogenetically normal, could have been part of the malignant clone at a stage prior to the development of the Ph. LTC's were initiated with cells from 2 women with CML who were heterozygous for 2 electrophoretically distinct glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme variants. In one patient, 2/11 progenitors were Ph-negative after 4 to 6 weeks in LTC and 4/30 were nonclonal by G6PD enzyme analysis, i.e. the colonies expressed the enzyme not found in the malignant clone. In this case, karyotypically normal cells were truly normal. Next, gene transfer to human hemopoietic cells was demonstrated using recombinant retrovirus carrying the selectable marker gene, neor. With the K562 human leukemic cell line as targets up to 60% of infected cells became G418 resistant (G418r). Cloned populations of G418r cells showed unique patterns of retroviral integration in K562 DNA. When the target cells were progenitors from normal marrow, CML blood or fetal liver, the highest frequencies of G418r granulocyte-macrophage or large erythroid colonies was 16% and 5% respectively. Experiments infecting bone marrow cells in LTC with neor virus produced up to 2% G418r colonies after as long as 3 weeks in culture. Using v-src virus to infect LTC failed to perturb hemopoiesis, although infection of bone marrow-derived cells in these cultures was documented. In summary: 1. Unique populations of hemopoietic progenitors can be identified in culture using several genetic markers including chromosomes, G6PD analysis or gene transfer. 2. The feasibility of retroviral-mediated gene transfer for use on human hemopoietic cells has been demonstrated.

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