Author(s): Delwel R, Touw I, Bot F, Lwenberg B
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Abstract The reactivity of acute myeloid leukemia cells (AML) was determined in 29 patients using the fucose binding lectin Ulex europaeus agglutinin (UEA) as surface marker. We show a marked heterogeneity in the UEA-binding abilities of the cells in these patients as determined by fluorescence analysis of the blasts labeled with the UEA coupled to the fluorescent molecule FITC. The results suggest a correlation between the capability of AML blast cells to bind UEA and cytologic maturation, because in 1 of 10 M1, 3 of 8 M2, 6 of 8 M4, and 1 of 3 M5 cytology types UEA binding to the leukemic cells was apparent. In 13 cases, the cells gave rise to colonies in vitro. The amount of UEA binding to AML colony-forming cells (AML-CFU) was determined by cell sorting and subsequent colony culture of UEA-negative, intermediately positive, and highly fluorescent cells. AML-CFU from none of the four patients with M1 cytology were UEA positive, whereas they showed intense reactivity with the lectin in 1 of 4 cases with M2 cytology and in all 4 cases of M4. In these five cases with strongly UEA positive AML-CFU, the fluorescence distribution of the colony formers differed from that of the total leukemia population, indicating that AML-CFU represent a subpopulation of AML cells with specific UEA-binding properties. Normal bone marrow myeloid and multipotential colony-forming cells (CFU-GM, CFU-GEMM) showed low or no binding of UEA. UEA-FITC appears a useful reagent for membrane analysis of AML-CFU. In certain cases, UEA-FITC labeling may be applied to discriminate AML-CFU from normal hematopoietic progenitors.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy