Author(s): Kaparou M, Choumerianou D, Perdikogianni C, Martimianaki G, Kalmanti M,
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Abstract It has been suggested that leukemia is characterized by an impaired balance between the proliferation of blood cells and their capacity to undergo apoptosis. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of key molecules related to apoptosis (BCL-2, BAX, FAS, FAS-L) in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Measurement of BCL-2 and BAX mRNA was performed by quantitative real-time PCR, and membrane expression of FAS and FAS-L was assessed by flow cytometry in bone marrow mononuclear cells, both at diagnosis and at remission following induction chemotherapy. At diagnosis, increased levels of the apoptotic BAX/BCL-2 ratio were observed in children older than 10 years and with higher white blood cell counts. A DNA index < 1.16 was associated with increased BAX/BCL-2, both at diagnosis and at remission, and the del(9p) chromosome abnormality with increased BAX/BCL-2 at remission. The expression of the apoptotic receptor FAS was significantly higher at remission compared to diagnosis, which might reflect enhanced sensitivity of the leukemic clone to apoptosis and response to treatment. Altogether, our results highlight the association of apoptosis-related genes with clinical and cytogenetic prognostic parameters in pediatric ALL. A better understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of apoptosis should enable the design of novel targeted therapies for these patients.
This article was published in Genet Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy