Telomerase activity and telomere length in acute and chronic leukemia, pre- and post-ex vivo culture Journal Article


Authors: Engelhardt, M.; Mackenzie, K.; Drullinsky, P.; Silver, R. T.; Moore, M. A. S.
Article Title: Telomerase activity and telomere length in acute and chronic leukemia, pre- and post-ex vivo culture
Abstract: We studied telomerase regulation and telomere length in hematopoietic progenitor cells from peripheral blood and bone marrow from patients with acute and chronic leukemia and myeloproliferative diseases. CD34+ cells from a total of 93 patients with either acute myeloid leukemia (AML; n = 25), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; n = 21), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; n = 18), polycythemia vera (PV; n = 16), or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; n = 13) were analyzed before and in 19 patients after ex vivo expansion in the presence of multiple cytokines (kit ligand, interleukin-3, interleukin-6, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor plus erythropoietin). Compared with hematopoietic progenitor cells from normal donors (n = 108), telomerase activity (TA) was increased 2- to 5-fold in chronic phase (CP)-CML, CLL, PV, and MDS. In AML, accelerated phase (AP) and blastic phase (BP)-CML, basal TA was 10- to 50-fold higher than normal. TA of CP-CML CD34+ cells was up- regulated within 72 h of ex vivo culture, peaked after 1 week, and decreased below detection after 2 weeks. In contrast, TA in AP/BP-CML and AML CD34+ cells was down-regulated after 1 week of culture and decreased further thereafter. The expansion potential of CD34+ cells from patients with leukemia was considerably decreased compared with CD34+ cells from normal donors. The average expansion of cells from leukemic individuals was 6.5-, 2.3-, 0.6-, and 0.2-fold in weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively, whereas expansion of normal cells was 5- to 15-fold higher. In serial expansion culture, a median telomeric loss of 0.7 kbp was observed during 3-4 weeks of expansion. Our results demonstrate that up-regulation of telomerase is similar in CD34+ cells from CP-CML, CLL, PV, and MDS patients and in normal hematopoietic cells during the first week of culture, whereas in AML and AP/BP-CML, telomerase is high at baseline and down-regulated during expansion culture. High levels of telomerase in leukemic progenitors at baseline may be a feature of both the malignant phenotype and rapid cycling. Telomerase down- regulation during culture of leukemic cells may be due to the decreased expansion potential or repression of normal hematopoiesis, or in AML it may be due to the partial differentiation of AML cells, shown previously to be associated with loss of TA. Telomere shortening during ex vivo expansion correlated with low levels of TA, particularly in chronic leukemic and MDS progenitors where telomerase was insufficient to protect against telomere bp loss during intense proliferation.
Keywords: adolescent; adult; aged; aged, 80 and over; middle aged; leukemia; human cell; major clinical study; cell proliferation; telomere; cd34 antigen; cell growth; cancer cell culture; tumor cells, cultured; enzyme activity; telomerase; stem cell; chromosome aberration; acute leukemia; enzyme analysis; hematopoietic stem cells; antigens, cd34; chronic leukemia; leukemia, lymphocytic, chronic; correlation function; leukemia, myelocytic, acute; leukemia, myeloid, chronic; humans; human; male; female; priority journal; article
Journal Title: Cancer Research
Volume: 60
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0008-5472
Publisher: American Association for Cancer Research  
Date Published: 2000-02-01
Start Page: 610
End Page: 617
Language: English
PUBMED: 10676644
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: Export Date: 18 November 2015 -- Source: Scopus