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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

HOX11 expression in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with T-cell phenotype.

Based on cytogenetic analysis, chromosomal translocations involving band 10q24 occur in 4-7% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). The HOX11 gene is located in this chromosomal band and is activated by translocations t(10;14) (q24;q11) and t(7;10) (q35;q24). Ectopic expression of the HOX11 gene appears to be involved in the development of T-cell tumors. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of HOX11 activation in pediatric ALL patients and to correlate gene expression with ALL immunophenotype. None of 53 B-lineage ALLs was positive for HOX11 expression, however, Northern blot and RT-PCR analysis revealed that four of 12 T-ALLs (33%) showed expression of the gene. In order to assess whether HOX11 expression is present in other pediatric malignancies we examined a panel of 20 tumor cell lines established from solid tumors and leukemias, but none of them showed expression of HOX11. Using our RT-PCR method we confirmed that HOX11 expression is not detectable in normal T-cells. These findings indicate that HOX11 expression in pediatric ALL is exclusive to T-ALL and does not occur in B-lineage ALL. The frequency detected by molecular techniques was significantly higher than the frequency reported in the literature based on cytogenetic analysis. These results support the notion that ectopic expression of the HOX11 homeobox gene is a crucial step in T-cell tumorigenesis.[1]


  1. HOX11 expression in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with T-cell phenotype. Salvati, P.D., Ranford, P.R., Ford, J., Kees, U.R. Oncogene (1995) [Pubmed]
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