Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jefferson Scientists Create First Animal Model Of Common Type Of Leukemia

Date:
May 22, 2002
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have developed the first animal model of the most common type of human leukemia. The new model should enable scientists to gain both a better understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), while at the same time provide a testing ground for potential new drugs.

Researchers at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have developed the first animal model of the most common type of human leukemia. The new model should enable scientists to gain both a better understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), while at the same time provide a testing ground for potential new drugs.

"This is a very important discovery because now we have an animal model to use to develop and test new drugs," says Carlo Croce, M.D., professor and chair of microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and director of the Kimmel Cancer Center, who led the work. "The model indicates what initiates the malignancy and provides us with interesting new targets involved in the earliest steps in the disease."

Several years ago, Dr. Croce and his co-workers isolated a gene, TCL-1, located on chromosome 14, and implicated it in several types of human leukemias and lymphomas, such as T-cell CLL and adult T-cell leukemia. These cancers are characterized by chromosomal rearrangements and in turn the uncontrolled proliferation of T-cells, key infection fighting white blood cells. According to Dr. Croce, TCL-1 is also expressed in two other types of cancer: B-cell CLL and B-cell lymphoma.

"We were puzzled by the fact that all B-cell CLL expressed TCL-1," Dr. Croce explains. "Cytogenetically B-cell CLL and B-cell lymphoma do not show the translocations or rearrangements of the TCL-1 gene observed in T-cell tumors." To better understand why, Dr. Croce and his co-workers created transgenic mice in which TCL-1 essentially is put into overdrive in B-cells.

Surprisingly, they found that when the gene is hyperactive, it produces too much of its protein product, resulting in uncontrolled expansion of leukemic cells and a disease identical to human B-cell CLL. "We did not predict this," he says. "We thought the mice would develop B-cell tumors like B-cell lymphomas, not one specific disease such as B-cell CLL." Dr. Croce and his co-workers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and the Istituto Dermatopatico dell'Immacolata in Rome report their findings May 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We really don't know much about the genetic mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of CLL," Dr. Croce says. "What this tells us is that either the TCL-1 gene or another gene (s) in the TCL-1 pathway are involved in the initiation and maintenance of B-cell CLL. Now we can target drugs at TCL-1 or molecules that interact with TCL-1. Eventually, we'll discover other targets in the future now that we know this pathway is important."

According to Dr. Croce, because the mouse disease is nearly identical to human CLL, the model will enable scientists to investigate all of the steps involved in the development of the disease. It will also tell researchers whether - and which - drugs work best early or late in the development of the disease.

B-cell CLL is a disease of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, gone awry, he explains. Leukemia cells are not dividing or dying; instead they continue to live a very long time. The study results should "provide important clues about the regulation of programmed cell death - why leukemic cells don't die," Dr. Croce notes, "and help us understand genetic mechanisms involved."

There are as many as 10,000 new cases of B-cell CLL in the United States each year. The disease often strikes the elderly, and while incurable, is slow growing, often lasting as long as 10 to 20 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Create First Animal Model Of Common Type Of Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020522072935.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2002, May 22). Jefferson Scientists Create First Animal Model Of Common Type Of Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020522072935.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Create First Animal Model Of Common Type Of Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020522072935.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins