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Increased BAX expression is associated with an increased risk of relapse in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Linda Hogarth, Dr Andrew Hall


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Studies in cell lines have indicated that expression of the BCL-2 family of proteins is an important determinant of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis; however, the level of expression of these proteins in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has not been extensively reported. Using quantitative Western blotting we have determined the level of expression of BCL-9, BAX, MCL-1, and BCL-X in lymphoblasts from 47 children with ALL (33 at presentation only, 4 at relapse only, and 10 at both presentation and on relapse). Results were determined as a ratio to actin as an internal control. BCL-2. BAX, and MCL-1 were detected in all samples. BCL-X-L was only detected in 6 cases (4 at presentation and 2 at relapse) and BCL-X-S in none. No correlation was found between expression and white blood cell count, age at diagnosis, gender, or blast karyotype. BCL-2 levels and the BCL/BAX and MCL-1/BAX ratios were found to be significantly higher in B-lineage as compared with T-lineage disease (P < .003, .02, and .02, respectively). No consistent pattern of change in expression was noted in the 10 cases studied at both presentation and relapse. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant correlation between high BAX expression and an increased probability of relapse (P < .05 by the log rank test), suggesting that chemosensitivity in leukemic blasts may be regulated by factors that override the BCL-2 pathway. (C) 1999 by The American Society of Hematology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hogarth LA, Hall AG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Blood

Year: 1999

Volume: 93

Issue: 8

Pages: 2671-2678

Print publication date: 01/04/1999

ISSN (print): 0006-4971

ISSN (electronic): 1528-0020


PubMed id: 10194447