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Int J Mol Med, 16, 463- 469

Studies on the action of mitomycin C and bleomycin on telomere lengths of human lymphocyte chromosomes.

U. Wick, E. Gebhart

In order to address the problem of the action of cytostatics on chromosome ends, telomere length was measured in human lymphocyte cultures exposed to mitomycin C (MMC) and bleomycin (BLM). Telomere-specific PNA probes were used for the quantitative estimation of the relative telomere length of each individual chromosome by fluorescence in situ hybridization. A high inter-cellular and inter-individual variability of relative telomere lengths was found throughout all experiments. Different responses could be observed with respect to the action of the examined mutagens: The total average fluorescence intensity of labeled telomere repeats was decreased under the action of MMC in two of the experiments, while two revealed no significant alteration. BLM caused no significant change of total average telomeric signal intensity in four, a clear decrease in one of the six experiments, and an increase in another. Although all chromosome ends contributed to the observed trends, single telomeres were affected in a very distinct way. The highest concentration of MMC (1 microg/ml) induced significant shortening of telomeres of the chromosome arms; 2q, 3p, 5q, 7p, 10q, 11p, 13q, 17p, 18p&q, and 21q in two independent experiments. In one BLM experiment with 8 microg/ml, the most distinct decrease (p< or =0.005) of telomeric fluorescence was found at the ends of chromosome arms; 1q, 6p, 17p, 20p&q, and 22q. The increase of telomeric signal intensity affected the telomeres of some individual chromosome arms more than others, e.g. 4q, 6p, 7p, 8p, 13p, and 18q. Although the telomere length of the individual chromosome arms varied widely, clear trends could be observed with respect to the rank which was occupied by telomeric length of the various chromosome arms. The telomeres of the 1p, 3p, 4q, 5p, 12q, and 13q chromosome arms throughout all experiments were among the longest; and those of 13p, 15p, 21p, and 22p were among the shortest telomeres of the karyotype. From these data, it can be concluded that MMC affects the telomeric repeat area of chromosomes more than BLM, which mostly had no significant effect on telomere length in the performed experiments.

Cytogenet. Genome Res., 111, 41- 45

Radiosensitivity detected by the micronucleus test is not generally increased in sporadic prostate cancer patients.

D. Varga, I. Michel, B. Patino-Garcia, T. Paiss, W. Vogel, C. Maier

The micronucleus test (MNT) has shown increased micronuclei (MN) frequencies in BRCA associated and sporadic breast cancer patients, Ataxia telangiectasia and Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome patients, demonstrating a common cellular phenotype of increased radiosensitivity. Some genes, causative of these diseases, have also recently been associated with prostate cancer. In order to investigate if prostate cancer exhibits the cellular phenotype of increased radiosensitivity, we performed MNT analysis on 22 sporadic prostate cancer patients and 43 male controls. We determined the baseline MN frequency, in order to see in vivo chromosomal damage without radiation, and induced (after irradiation with 2 Gy) frequency of MN, both in binucleated cells (BNC) obtained from cultured peripheral blood lymphocytes. An automated image analysis system was used to score the MN employing two different classifiers (Classifier A and B) for detection of BNC. The mean baseline frequencies were 48/43 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for the controls and 42/50 (A/B) for prostate cancer patients. The induced MN frequencies amounted to 107/111 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for controls and 111/114 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for prostate cancer patients. The obtained MN frequencies did not result in a statistically significant difference between unselected cases and controls. However, restricting the analysis to young patients (50-60 years, N = 7) and age-matched controls (N = 7) revealed marginally significant higher MN frequencies in patients. We conclude that increased radiosensitivity is not a property of prostate cancer patients in general.

Int J Radiat Biol, 26, 1707- 1713

Are telomeres a specific target for mutagenic attack by cytostatics in neoplastic cells?

U. Wick, E. Gebhart

Damage to telomeres induced by cytostatic therapy theoretically could generate telomere shortening and, subsequently, induce an additional genomic instability in neoplastic cells. Model experiments were carried out to examine this hypothesis. Cells of the T-ALL derived cell line CCRF-CEM were exposed to various different concentrations of Bleomycin (BLM) or Mitomycin C (MMC) for various times. Telomere lengths of metaphase chromosomes of the exposed cells were compared with those without this exposure (controls). In addition, telomerase activity was determined with a TRAP assay under the given conditions using the BLM experiments as a model. Although slight changes of total telomere length could be found in single experiments, the differences between exposed and non-exposed cells were not significant. Also, a considerable telomerase activity was shown which, however, did not substantially differ between exposed and non-exposed cells. From these data it may be concluded that, at least in the examined cell line, telomeres are not a preferential target for this kind of mutagenic attack.

Leukemia Research, 29, 273- 281

Prognostic value of structural chromosomal rearrangements and small cell clones with high hyperdiploidy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Z. Zemanova, K. Michalova, L. Sindelarova, P. Smisek, J. Brezinova, S. Ransdorfova, V. Vavra, A. Dohnalova, J. Stary

In this study, 107 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were analysed for the presence of hyperdiploidy by cytogenetics and interphase fluorescence in situ hybridisation (I-FISH). Structural aberrations in hyperdiploid cells were investigated by multiple colour FISH (mFISH). Clones with high hyperdiploidy (>50 chromosomes) (HeH) were found in 46 patients (43%). In nine of these (20%), the abnormal clone was present in <20% of the total cell population. There was no significant difference in EFS between those patients with HeH in 2.5-20% or >20% of cells. Structural rearrangements in the HeH clone were found in 10 patients (22%). In this study, HeH karyotypes containing structural aberrations were an indication of a poor prognosis in childhood ALL.

World J Surg Oncol., 17, 35- 42

Secretory carcinoma of the breast containing the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene in a male: case report and review of the literature

C. Arce, D. Cortes-Padilla, D.G. Huntsman, M.A. Miller, A. Duennas-Gonzalez, A. Alvarado, V. Pérez, D. Gallardo-Rincón, F. Lara-Medina

SUMMARY: BACKGROUND: Secretory carcinoma (SC) of the breast is a rare and indolent tumor. Although originally described in children, it is now known to occur in adults of both sexes. Recently, the tumor was associated with the ETV6-NTRK3 gene translocation. CASE PRESENTATION: A 52-year-old male was diagnosed with secretory breast carcinoma and underwent a modified radical mastectomy. At 18 months the tumor recurred at the chest wall and the patient developed lung metastases. He was treated concurrently with radiation and chemotherapy without response. His tumor showed the ETV6-NTRK3 translocation as demonstrated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). CONCLUSION: SC is a rare slow-growing tumor best treated surgically. There are insufficient data to support the use of adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy. Its association with the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene gives some clues for the better understanding of this neoplasm and eventually, the development of specific therapies.

Nucleic Acids Research, 33, 2512- 2520

XRCC1 is required for DNA single-strand break repair in human cells.

R. Brem, J. Hall

The X-ray repair cross complementing 1 (XRCC1) protein is required for viability and efficient repair of DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) in rodents. XRCC1-deficient mouse or hamster cells are hypersensitive to DNA damaging agents generating SSBs and display genetic instability after such DNA damage. The presence of certain polymorphisms in the human XRCC1 gene has been associated with altered cancer risk, but the role of XRCC1 in SSB repair (SSBR) in human cells is poorly defined. To elucidate this role, we used RNA interference to modulate XRCC1 protein levels in human cell lines. A reduction in XRCC1 protein levels resulted in decreased SSBR capacity as measured by the comet assay and intracellular NAD(P)H levels, hypersensitivity to the cell killing effects of the DNA damaging agents methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), hydrogen peroxide and ionizing radiation and enhanced formation of micronuclei following exposure to MMS. Lowered XRCC1 protein levels were also associated with a significant delay in S-phase progression after exposure to MMS. These data clearly demonstrate that XRCC1 is required for efficient SSBR and genomic stability in human cells.

J Appl Genet, 46, 319- 325

Genotoxicity of the volatile anaesthetic desflurane in human lymphocytes in vitro, established by comet assay.

T.M. Karpinski, M. Kostrzewska-P., I. Stachecki, A. Mikstacki, K. Szyfter

The aim of the present study was to estimate the genotoxicity of desflurane, applied as a volatile anaesthetic. The potential genotoxicity was determined by the comet assay as the extent of DNA fragmentation in human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro. The comet assay detects DNA strand breaks induced directly by genotoxic agents as well as DNA fragmentation due to cell death. Another anaesthetic, halothane, already proved to be a genotoxic agent, was used as a positive control. Both analysed drugs were capable of increasing DNA migration in a dose-dependent manner under experimental conditions applied. The results of the study demonstrated that the genotoxicity of desflurane was comparable with that of halothane. However, considering the pharmacodynamics of both drugs, the genotoxic activity of desflurane may be connected with a less harmful effect on the exposed patients or medical staff.

Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 20, 106- 112

Fetal cells in maternal blood: a comparison of methods for cell isolation and identification.

B. Christensen, J. Philip, S. K\olvraa, L. Lykke-Hansen, I. Hromadnikova, D. Gohel, T. Lörch, A. Plesch, J. Bang, S. Smidt-Jensen, J. Hertz, H. Djursing

OBJECTIVE: A variety of methods have been used to select and identify fetal cells from maternal blood. In this study, a commonly used 3-step selection method is compared with selection directly from whole blood. Identification of fetal origin by XY FISH of male cells was also evaluated. METHODS: Maternal blood was drawn either before invasive chorion villus sampling (pre-CVS) or after (post-CVS) from women carrying a male fetus. Fetal cells were isolated either by density gradient centrifugation succeeded by CD45/CD14 depletion and CD71-positive selection from CD45/CD14-negative cells, or by CD71-positive selection directly from whole blood. The true origin of fetal cells recovered by the two methods was established by two rounds of XY chromosome FISH in reverse colors, in some instances combined with anti-zeta (zeta) or anti-zeta/anti-gamma (gamma) antibody staining. RESULTS: In blood samples taken post-CVS and enriched by CD71 selection directly from whole blood, fetal cells were identified with a frequency that was almost four orders of magnitude higher than in post-CVS samples enriched by the 3-step method. In blood samples taken pre-CVS and enriched by the 3-step procedure, no fetal cells were identified by reverse color FISH in 371 ml of blood. In similar samples enriched by CD71 selection on whole blood, two fetal cells were identified in 27 ml of blood. Rehybridization with X and Y chromosome probes with reverse colors was necessary to exclude false Y chromosome signals. Not all fetal cells identified by the presence of a true Y chromosome signal stained with anti-zeta antibody. CONCLUSIONS: Selection of fetal NRBCs from maternal blood by CD71-positive selection directly from whole blood is superior to density gradient centrifugation succeeded by CD45/CD14 depletion and CD71 selection of CD45/CD14-negative cells. Combining two markers for fetal origin is recommended for unambiguously identifying a cell as fetal.

Plant J, 43, 662- 674

Telomerase-independent cell survival in Arabidopsis thaliana.

J.M. Watson, P. Bulankova, K. Riha, D.E. Shippen, B. Vyskot

Telomerase is the reverse transcriptase responsible for the maintenance of telomeric repeat sequences in most species that have been studied. Inactivation of telomerase causes telomere shortening and results in the loss of the telomere's protective function, which in mammals leads to cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Experiments performed on Arabidopsis thaliana mutants lacking telomerase activity revealed their unusually high tolerance for genome instability. Here we present molecular and cytogenetic analysis of two cell lines (A and B) derived from seeds of late-generation telomerase-deficient A. thaliana. These cultures have survived for about 3 years and are still viable. However, neither culture has adapted mechanisms to maintain terminal telomeric repeats. One culture (B) suffers from severe growth irregularities and a high degree of mortality. Karyological analysis revealed dramatic genomic rearrangements, a large variation in ploidy, and an extremely high percentage of anaphase bridges. The second cell line (A) survived an apparent crisis and phenotypically appears wild-type with respect to growth and morphology. Despite these indications of genome stabilization, a high percentage of anaphase bridges was observed in the A line. We conclude that the restructured chromosome termini provide the A line with partial protection from end-joining repair activities, thus allowing normal growth.

Int. J. Radiat. Biol., 81, 741- 749

The radiation sensitivity of human chromosomes 2, 8, and 14 in peripheral blood lymphocytes of seven donors.

S. Sommer, I. Buraczewska, M. Wojewodzka, E. Bouzyk, I. Szumiel, A. Wojcik

PURPOSE: To investigate if deviations from DNA-proportional distribution of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations are individually variable. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Peripheral blood lymphocytes were collected from seven healthy donors and exposed to different doses of gamma rays. Chromosomes 2, 8 and 14 were painted in different colors and aberrations scored with the help of an image-analysis system. RESULTS: Chromosome 2 was generally less sensitive than expected on the basis of DNA-proportional distribution and the extent of inter-donor variability was minimal. A higher than expected frequency of aberrations was found in chromosome 14 of five donors, while a higher than expected frequency of aberrations was found in chromosome 8 of two donors. CONCLUSIONS: Inter-donor variability may explain some of the controversies regarding the inter-chromosomal distribution of radiation-induced aberrations.

Oncogene, 23(45), 7507–7516
September, 2004

Tumor necrosis factor alpha induces senescence and chromosomal instabilityin human leukemic cells.

Odile Beyne-Rauzy, Christian Recher, Nicole Dastugue, Cécile Demur, Géraldine Pottier, Guy Laurent, Laure Sabatier, Véronique Mansat-De Mas

Previous studies have documented that Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) is a potent negative regulator of normal hematopoiesis. However, the mechanism by which TNFalpha acts at the cellular level is not totally understood. Although apoptotic cell killing appears to be the most common cellular effect of TNFalpha, other studies suggest that this cytokine may elicit other cellular responses such as prolonged growth inhibition. In this context, we have investigated whether TNFalpha may induce senescence in hematopoietic cells, which display intrinsic defect in the apoptotic machinery. The present study described that, in the leukemic KG1 cells, TNFalpha induced no apoptosis but a senescence state characterized by prolonged growth arrest, increased beta-galactosidase activity, p21WAF-1 induction, decreased telomerase activity, telomeric disturbances (shortening, losses, fusions), and additional chromosomal aberrations. Telomerase inhibition correlated with reduced levels of hTERT transcripts. GM-CSF prevented TNFalpha effects and allowed leukemic cells to recover growth capacity. Finally, our study shows for the first time that, at least in some hematopoietic cells, TNFalpha may induce senescence with important functional consequences, including sustained growth inhibition and genetic instability, and that this cellular response is efficiently regulated by hematopoietic growth factors.

Clin Cancer Res, 10(9), 3020–3028
May, 2004

Reliable and sensitive identification of occult tumor cells usingthe improved rare event imaging system.

Stine-Kathrein Kraeft, Andras Ladanyi, Kevin Galiger, Anna Herlitz, Andrew C. Sher, Danielle E. Bergsrud, Gaelle Even, Stephanie Brunelle, Lyndsay Harris, Ravi Salgia, Tom Dahl, John Kesterson, Lan Bo Chen

The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using rare event imaging system (REIS)-assisted analysis to detect occult tumor cells (OTCs) in peripheral blood (PB). The study also sought to determine whether REIS-assisted OTC detection presents a clinically viable alternative to manual microscopic detection to establish the true significance of OTC from solid epithelial tumors.We recently demonstrated proof of concept using a fluorescence-based automated microscope system, REIS, for OTC detection from the PB. For this study, the prototype of the system was adopted for high-throughput and high-content cellular analysis.The performance of the improved REIS was examined using normal blood (n = 10), normal blood added to cancer cells (n = 20), and blood samples obtained from cancer patients (n = 80). Data from the screening of 80 clinical slides from breast and lung cancer patients, by manual microscopy and by the REIS, revealed that as many as 14 of 35 positive slides (40\%) were missed by manual screening but positively identified by REIS. In addition, REIS-assisted scanning reliably and reproducibly quantified the total number of cells analyzed in the assay and categorized positive cells based on their marker expression profile.REIS-assisted analysis provides excellent sensitivity and reproducibility for OTC detection. This approach may enable an improved method for screening of PB samples and for obtaining novel information about disease staging and about risk evaluation in cancer patients.

Radiation Research, 161, 540- 548

Chromosome intrachanges and interchanges detected by multicolor banding in lymphocytes: searching for clastogen signatures in the human genome

C. Johannes, M. Horstmann, M. Durante, I. Chudoba, G. Obe

<p>Genomic fingerprints of mutagenic agents would have wide applications in the field of cancer biology, epidemiology and prevention. The differential spectra of chromosomal aberrations induced by different clastogens suggest that ratios of specific aberrations can be exploited as biomarkers of carcinogen exposure. We have tested this hypothesis using the novel technique of multicolor banding in situ hybridization (mBAND) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to X rays, neutrons, heavy ions, or the restriction endonuclease AluI. In the heavy-ion-irradiated cells, we further analyzed aberrations in chromosome 5 using multicolor FISH (mFISH). Contrary to the expectations of biophysical models, our results do not support the use of the ratios of inter-/intrachromosomal exchanges or intra-/interarm intrachanges as fingerprints of exposure to densely ionizing radiation. However, our data point to measurable differences in the ratio of complex/simple interchanges after exposure to different clastogens. These data should be considered in current biophysical models of radiation action in living cells.</p>

Blood, 104, 795- 801

Genomic DNA-chip hybridization in t(11;14)-positive mantle cell lymphomas shows a high frequency of aberrations and allows a refined characterization of consensus regions.

H. Kohlhammer, C. Schwaenen, S. Wessendorf, K. Holzmann, H.A. Kestler, D. Kienle, T.F.E. Barth, P. Möller, G. Ott, J. Kalla, B. Radlwimmer, A. Pscherer, S. Stilgenbauer, H. Döhner, P. Lichter, M. Bentz

Tumor samples of 53 patients with t(11;14)-positive mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs) were analyzed by matrix-based comparative genomic hybridization (matrix-CGH) using a dedicated DNA array. In 49 cases, genomic aberrations were identified. In comparison to chromosomal CGH, a 50% higher number of aberrations was found and the high specificity of matrix-CGH was demonstrated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses. The 11q gains and 13q34 deletions, which have not been described as frequent genomic aberrations in MCL, were identified by matrix-CGH in 15 and 26 cases, respectively. For several genomic aberrations, novel consensus regions were defined: 8p21 (size of the consensus region, 2.4 megabase pairs [Mbp]; candidate genes: TNFRSF10B, TNFRSF10C, TNFRSF10D); 10p13 (2.7 Mbp; BMI1); 11q13 (1.4 Mbp; RELA); 11q13 (5.2 Mbp; CCND1); 13q14 (0.4 Mbp; RFP2, BCMSUN) and 13q34 (6.9 Mbp). In univariate analyses correlating genomic aberrations and clinical course, 8p- and 13q14- deletions were associated with an inferior overall survival. These data provide a basis for further studies focusing on the identification of pathogenetically or clinically relevant genes in MCL.

Pathol Oncol Res, 10, 142- 148

Chromosomal aberrations accumulate in polyploid cells of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL).

G. Méhes, N. Speich, M. Bollmann, R. Bollmann

<p>Persistant infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) of the uterine cervix is related with cytological atypia (SIL), the oncogenic potential of which is unclear in a given time point of monitoring. HPV-induced genetic instability result in polyploidization as well as in low frequency random chromosome aberrations in squamous cells. In the present work we analyzed whether highly polyploid/aneuploid cells reflect genomic changes at the chromosomal level. 13 samples with the cytological diagnosis of HSIL were analyzed for HPV type and nuclear DNA content measured by laser scanning cytometry (LSC). Hyperdiploid cells with &gt;5c and with &gt;9c DNA content were further analyzed for numerical aberrations of the chromosomes 3 and 17 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) following repositioning. Cells with &gt;5c DNA content were found more frequently than cells with &gt;9c DNA content (5-98 and 1-44 cells, respectively). The FISH analysis demonstrated frequent polysomies, however, the rate of aneusomy (other than 2, 4, 8 or 16 chromosome copies) was significantly higher in cells with &gt;9c DNA content than in cells with &gt;5c DNA content or the normal diploid cells. The imbalance of chromosome 3 and 17 copy number was also increased in cells with &gt;9c DNA content. Moreover, in three out of the 13 analyzed HSIL samples, recurrent abnormal chromosome 3/17 ratio was demonstrated in a significant part of the cells, indicating a common origin of these cells. Highly polyploid/aneuploid cells in HSIL accumulate cytogenetic aberrations detectable by FISH analysis. These cells may reflect early changes with tumorigenic potential in a very concentrated fashion.</p>

Am J Clin Pathol, 122, 875- 882

Frequent gains of the short arm of chromosome 9 in Multiple Myeloma with normal G-banded karyotype detected by comparative genomic hybridization.

J. Tchinda, S. Volpert, M. Kropff, W.E. Berdel, J. Kienast, F. Meinhardt, J. Horst

A number of genetic abnormalities have been detected in multiple myeloma (MM) using cytogenetic techniques. The prominent abnormalities are deletions of 13q and translocations affecting the IgH locus on 14q32. The recurrence of chromosomal abnormalities in MM suggests a specific role for them concerning its pathogenesis. We performed comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) on samples from 53 patients with MM and 4 with monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance. In 31 cases (54%), normal ratio profiles were found, whereas 26 cases (46%) had aberrant profiles. The most common aberrations were gains of 9p (n = 14), 11 (n = 9), and 21q (n = 5) and loss of 22 (n = 7). In earlier reports on cytogenetics of lymphomas, gains of 9p are described as characteristic of primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, but the consensus region is smaller than in the present study (9p23pter vs 9p13pter). Therefore, we suggest a stronger genetic affinity between MM and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma than MM and other B-cell lymphomas. To support this suggestion, more molecular cytogenetic techniques and expression analyses have to be performed.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1309/5KWK-P6UK-GNXX-HMYH

Hum Reprod, 19, 685- 693

Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of two blastomeres from day 3 frozen-thawed embryos followed by analysis of the remaining embryo on day 5.

E.B. Baart, D. Van Opstal, F.J. Los, B.C.J.M. Fauser, E.Martini

BACKGROUND: Chromosomal mosaicism in human embryos may give rise to false positive or false negative results in preimplantation genetic diagnosis for aneuploidy screening (PGD-AS). Therefore, we have investigated whether the results obtained from a 2-cell biopsy of frozen-thawed embryos and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis are representative for the chromosome constitution of the remaining embryo on day 5. METHODS: Cryopreserved day 3 embryos were thawed and from surviving embryos two blastomeres were biopsied. FISH analysis was performed for chromosomes 1, 7, 13, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, X and Y. After biopsy, the embryos were cultured until day 5 and further analysed using the same probe panels. RESULTS: In all, 17 embryos were available with a diagnosis based on two blastomeres on day 3 and confirmatory studies on day 5. In 10 of these 17 cases the initial diagnosis could be confirmed. However, in only six cases cytogenetic results were concordant. Besides the 10 cases with a 'correct' diagnosis, there were six false positive results and one false negative, all involving mosaicism. CONCLUSIONS: Investigating the chromosomal constitution of two blastomere nuclei offers a good opportunity to study the incidence of chromosomal mosaicism in early embryo development. The confirmation rate of the results obtained on day 3 depends on the interpretation and is higher when considered from a clinical than from a cytogenetic point of view.

Cancer research, 64, 6453- 6460

Genomic and expression profiling of chromosome 17 in breast cancer reveals complex patterns of alterations and novel candidate genes

B. Orsetti, M. Nugoli, N. Cervera, L. Lasorsa, P. Chuchana, L. Ursule, C. Nguyen, R. Redon, du Manoir, S., C. Rodriguez, C. Theillet

Chromosome 17 is severely rearranged in breast cancer. Whereas the short arm undergoes frequent losses, the long arm harbors complex combinations of gains and losses. In this work we present a comprehensive study of quantitative anomalies at chromosome 17 by genomic array-comparative genomic hybridization and of associated RNA expression changes by cDNA arrays. We built a genomic array covering the entire chromosome at an average density of 1 clone per 0.5 Mb, and patterns of gains and losses were characterized in 30 breast cancer cell lines and 22 primary tumors. Genomic profiles indicated severe rearrangements. Compiling data from all samples, we subdivided chromosome 17 into 13 consensus segments: 4 regions showing mainly losses, 6 regions showing mainly gains, and 3 regions showing either gains or losses. Within these segments, smallest regions of overlap were defined (17 for gains and 16 for losses). Expression profiles were analyzed by means of cDNA arrays comprising 358 known genes at 17q. Comparison of expression changes with quantitative anomalies revealed that about half of the genes were consistently affected by copy number changes. We identified 85 genes overexpressed when gained (39 of which mapped within the smallest regions of overlap), 67 genes underexpressed when lost (32 of which mapped to minimal intervals of losses), and, interestingly, 32 genes showing reduced expression when gained. Candidate genes identified in this study belong to very diverse functional groups, and a number of them are novel candidates.

Leukemia Research, 28, 1013- 1021

Dynamics of telomere erosion and its association with genome instability in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia arising from MDS: a marker of disease prognosis?

Z. Sieglová, S. Zilovcová, J. Cermák, H. Ríhová, D. Brezinová, R. Dvoráková, M. Marková, J. Maaloufová, J. Sajdová, J. Brezinová, Z. Zemanová, K. Michalová

Telomere length was evaluated by terminal repeat fragment method (TRF) in 50 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) arising from MDS and in 21 patients with untreated primary AML to ascertain, whether telomere erosion was associated with progression of MDS towards overt leukemia. Heterogeneity of TRF among MDS FAB subgroups (P=0.004) originated from its shortening in increased number of patients during progression of the disease. Chromosomal aberrations were present in 32% MDS patients with more eroded telomeres (P=0.022), nevertheless a difference between mean TRF in the subgroups with normal and abnormal karyotype diminished during progression of MDS. A negative correlation between individual TRF and IPSS value (P=0.039) showed that telomere dynamics might serve as a useful prognostic factor for assessment of an individual MDS patient’s risk and for decision of an optimal treatment strategy.