09 July 2016 : Clinical Research
Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:2392-2403
BACKGROUND: Syncytin-1, a cell membrane-localizing fusogen, is abnormally expressed in several cancers, including endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. Although abnormal syncytin-1 expression has been detected in two-thirds of leukemia blood samples, its expression profile in acute leukemia patients has not yet been analyzed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Bone marrow samples from 50 acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cases and 14 B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-cell ALL) patients were subjected to flow cytometry to assess leukocyte type distributions and leukocytic syncytin-1 surface expression. RT-PCR was applied to assess leukocytic syncytin-1 mRNA expression. Statistical analysis was applied to compare syncytin-1 expression between AML and B-cell ALL patients across blasts, granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes as well as to determine clinical factors statistically associated with changes in syncytin-1 expression.
RESULTS: The leukocyte type distributions of the AML and B-cell ALL cohorts highly overlapped, with an observable difference in blast distribution between the 2 cohorts. The AML cohort displayed significantly greater syncytin-1 surface and mRNA expression (p<0.05). Syncytin-1 surface and mRNA expression was significantly increased across all 4 leukocyte types (p<0.05). The percentage of syncytin-1-expressing blasts was significantly greater in AML patients (p<0.05), with blasts showing the largest fold-change in syncytin-1 expression (p<0.05). M5, M5a, and M5b AML patients displayed significantly higher syncytin-1 surface expression relative to all other AML French-American-British (FAB) classifications (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest leukocytic syncytin-1 expression may play a role in the development and/or maintenance of the AML phenotype and the acute monocytic leukemia phenotype in particular.
Keywords: Leukemia, Biphenotypic, Acute, Leukemia, Experimental, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
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