AML1-ETO9a is correlated with C-KIT overexpression/mutations and indicates poor disease outcome in t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia-M2.

Abstract:

AML1-ETO fusion gene is generated from chromosomal translocation t(8;21) mainly in acute myeloid leukemia M2 subtype (AML-M2). Its spliced variant transcript, AML1-ETO9a, rapidly induces leukemia in murine model. To evaluate its clinical significance, AML1-ETO9a expression was assessed in 118 patients with t(8;21) AML-M2, using qualitative and nested quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR methods. These cases were accordingly divided into the AML1-ETO9a-H group (n=86, positive for qualitative RT-PCR, with higher level of AML1-ETO9a by quantitative RT-PCR) and the AML1-ETO9a-L group (n=32, negative for qualitative RT-PCR, with lower but still detectable level of AML1-ETO9a by quantitative RT-PCR). C-KIT expression was significantly increased in the AML1-ETO9a-H group, as compared with the AML1-ETO9a-L group. Of the 36 patients harboring C-KIT mutations, 32 patients overexpressed AML1-ETO9a (P=0.0209). Clinically, AML1-ETO9a-H patients exhibited significantly elevated white blood cells count, less bone marrow aberrant myelocytes, increased CD56 but decreased CD19 expression (P=0.0451, P=0.0479, P=0.0149 and P=0.0298, respectively). Moreover, AML1-ETO9a overexpression was related to short event-free and overall survival time (P=0.0072 and P=0.0076, respectively). Taken together, these data suggest that AML1-ETO9a is correlated with C-KIT overexpression/mutations and indicates poor disease outcome in t(8;21) AML-M2.

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