Molecular and Genetic Evidence for Antigen Selection in the Pathogenesis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Antigens play a critical role in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) by binding to and stimulating leukemic precursor cells at some point during CLL ontogeny. Nevertheless, much remains unknown and further studies are necessary before an accurate model of antigen-drive can be ascertained. In this context, intraclonal diversification (ID) analysis of immunoglobulin (IG) genes could shed light on whether antigen involvement is restricted to the malignant transformation phase or if the triggering antigen(s) continuously stimulates the CLL clone. Hence, in Paper I we conducted a large-scale analysis of 71 CLL cases and revealed that 28/71 cases carried intraclonally diversified IGHV-IGHD-IGHJ genes. Although most cases showed no or low levels of ID, intense ID was evident within all subset #4 (IGHV4-34/IGKV2-30) cases. Subsequent analysis, in Paper II, of the clonotypic light chains revealed that the outstanding exception again related to subset #4. In such cases, the expressed IGKV2-30 gene was affected by targeted ID, analogous to their partner IGHV4-34 gene. Whilst these results convincingly argued for the role of antigen(s) in the development and evolution of CLL subset #4, this analysis was limited to depicting what was occurring at a single time-point and could not provide insight into the temporal dynamics of the CLL clones. Thus, in Paper III we conducted a longitudinal study of 8 subset #4 cases which enabled us to establish a hierarchical pattern of subclonal evolution. The observed ‘stepwise’ accumulation of mutations strongly supports a role for antigen selection in the pathogenesis of CLL subset #4. In Paper IV we reported a subset of IgG-switched CLL patients with coexisting trisomies of 12 and 19, and propose that the emergence of trisomy 18 in such cases represents a clonal evolution event suggestive of selection due to a clonal advantage. Paper V focused on the IGHV3-21 gene, an adverse prognostic factor in CLL. Since ~60% of IGHV3-21-expressing cases carry stereotyped B cell receptors, recognition of a common antigenic epitope, perhaps of pathogenic significance, is envisaged. Therefore, we investigated IGHV3-21 gene frequency within a Swedish population-based cohort and assessed the impact of stereotypy on clinical outcome. Taken collectively, this thesis provides molecular and genetic evidence for the role of antigen in CLL pathogenesis by convincingly demonstrating that clonal evolution, at least for certain subsets of CLL, is functionally driven rather than a consequence of clonal expansion promoted by nonspecific stimuli.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 65 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 815
IGHV4-34, microenvironment, stereotypy, immunoglobulin, intraclonal diversification, clonal evolution
Hematology Medical Genetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181602ISBN: 978-91-554-8480-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181602DiVA: diva2:557249
2012-11-09, Rudbecksalen, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Gribben, John, Professor
Rosenquist, Richard, Professor
List of papers