Autoantibody-associated kappa light chain variable region gene expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with little or no somatic mutation. Implications for etiology and immunotherapy.
ABSTRACT: Recently the minor B cell subpopulation that expresses the CD5 (Leu-1) antigen has been implicated as a source of IgM autoantibodies. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common leukemia in humans, represents a malignancy of small B lymphocytes that also express the CD5 antigen. However, little is known concerning the antibody variable region genes (V genes) that are used by these malignant CD5 B cells. We have found that a relatively high frequency of CLL patients have leukemic B cells with surface immunoglobulin (sIg) recognized by 17.109, a murine mAb specific for a kappa light chain associated crossreactive idiotype (CRI) associated with rheumatoid factor and other IgM autoantibodies. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that the relative expression of the 17.109-CRI by circulating leukemic B cells was directly proportional to the levels of sIg kappa light chain, indicating that there exists stable idiotype expression in the leukemic population. To examine this at the molecular level, the nucleic acid sequences encoding the Ig kappa light chains of two unrelated patients with CLL bearing sIg with the 17.109-CRI were determined. Analyses of multiple independent kappa light chain cDNA clones did not reveal any evidence for sequence heterogeneity in the CLL cell population. Furthermore, the nucleic acid sequences expressed by the leukemic cells of these two patients were identical or very homologous to a germline V kappa gene isolated from placental DNA, designated Humkv 325, or "V kappa RF" because of its association with IgM autoantibodies. This study suggests; (a) that the malignant CD5+ B lymphocytes in CLL use the same V kappa gene that has been highly associated with IgM autoantibodies and (b) that the expression of V genes is stable in CLL, in contrast to other B cell malignancies examined to date. We propose that many CLL cases represent malignancies of autoreactive CD5 B cells that use a restricted set of conserved V genes. This property may render CLL particularly amenable to immunotherapy with antiidiotypic antibodies.
Project description:Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is a hematologic condition wherein small B-cell clones can be detected in the blood of asymptomatic individuals. Most MBL have an immunophenotype similar to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and 'CLL-like' MBL is a precursor to CLL. We used flow cytometry to identify MBL from unaffected members of CLL kindreds. We identified 101 MBL cases from 622 study subjects; of these, 82 individuals with MBL were further characterized. In all, 91 unique MBL clones were detected: 73 CLL-like MBL (CD5(+)CD20(dim)sIg(dim)), 11 atypical MBL (CD5(+)CD20(+)sIg(+)) and 7 CD5(neg) MBL (CD5(neg)CD20(+)sIg(neg)). Extended immunophenotypic characterization of these MBL subtypes was performed, and significant differences in cell surface expression of CD23, CD49d, CD79b and FMC-7 were observed among the groups. Markers of risk in CLL such as CD38, ZAP70 and CD49d were infrequently expressed in CLL-like MBL, but were expressed in the majority of atypical MBL. Interphase cytogenetics was performed in 35 MBL cases, and del 13q14 was most common (22/30 CLL-like MBL cases). Gene expression analysis using oligonucleotide arrays was performed on seven CLL-like MBL, and showed activation of B-cell receptor associated pathways. Our findings underscore the diversity of MBL subtypes and further clarify the relationship between MBL and other lymphoproliferative disorders.
Project description:B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is a clonal overgrowth of CD5(+) B lymphocytes. In this disease, the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) is intimately linked to disease severity, because patients with BCRs, comprised of unmutated V(H) genes, follow a much more aggressive course. This and related observations suggest that B-CLL derives from a B cell subset comprised of restricted BCR structural diversity and that antigen-selection and drive are major factors promoting the disease. Nevertheless, the initiating event(s) that lead to the development of B-CLL are still unclear, in part because of the lack of an animal model that spontaneously evolves the molecular abnormalities that occur in the human disease. Because overexpression of the TCL1 gene in murine B cells leads to a CD5(+) B cell lymphoproliferative disorder with many of the features of human B-CLL, we studied leukemias emerging in these mice to examine the extent to which their BCRs resemble those in B-CLL. Our data indicate that the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain rearrangements in TCL1 mice display minimal levels of somatic mutations and exhibit several molecular features found in the human disease. Like human B-CLL, TCL1 leukemic rearrangements from different mice can be very similar structurally and closely resemble autoantibodies and antibodies reactive with microbial antigens. Antigen-binding analyses confirm that selected TCL1 clones react with glycerophospholipid, lipoprotein, and polysaccharides that can be autoantigens and be expressed by microbes. This (auto)antigen-driven mouse model reliably captures the BCR characteristics of aggressive, treatment-resistant human B-CLL.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) usually involves the expansion of a clone of CD5+ B cells synthesizing IgM antibodies. These B cells appear to be blocked at the antigen receptor-expressing stage of B cell differentiation and are thought not to undergo an isotype class switch to IgG or IgA production. In vivo and in vitro studies suggest, however, that in some instances terminal differentiation and isotype switching can occur. To test the hypothesis that in vivo isotype class switching occurs in IgM+ B-type CLL cells, we analyzed the PBMC of 19 CLL patients for the presence of transcripts encoding the rearranged CLL V(H)DJ(H) associated with either gamma or alpha H chains. The molecular data indicate that approximately 50% of B-CLL patients have amplifications of IgM+ B cells that undergo an isotype class switch. Switching to IgA appears to occur more often than to IgG; also, switching can involve different IgG subclasses in individual patients. In many instances, these CLL-related gamma and alpha transcripts are much more plentiful than those of normal B cells that produce the same isotype. These switched transcripts do not reveal evidence for the accumulation of significant numbers of new V(H) gene mutations. The cellular data indicate that B cells with lesser amounts of surface membrane IgD and higher IgM/IgD ratios are more likely to undergo this switching process. Furthermore, B cells expressing IgG and IgA of the same idiotype or V(H) family and the same CDR3 length as those of the CLL IgM+ clone can be identified in the blood of patients studied using multiparameter immunofluorescence analyses. Collectively, these data suggest that not all members of a B-CLL clone are frozen at the surface membrane Ig-expressing stage of B cell maturation, and that some members can switch to the production of non-IgM isotypes. The occurrence of switching without the accumulation of V gene mutations indicates that the processes of differentiation and diversification are not linked.
Project description:For antigen recognition, lampreys use leucine-rich repeats (LRR) instead of immunoglobulin V-(D)-J domains to generate variable lymphocyte receptors (VLR) of three types, VLRA, VLRB, and VLRC. VLRB-bearing lymphocytes respond to immunization with proliferation and differentiation into plasmacytes that secrete multivalent VLRB antibodies. Here we immunized lampreys with B cells from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to generate recombinant monoclonal VLRB antibodies, one of which, VLR39, was specific for the donor CLL cells. The target epitope of VLR39 was shown to be the complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) of the heavy chain variable region (VH) of the B cell receptor. Using this antibody to monitor the CLL donor after chemo-immunotherapy-induced remission, we detected VLR39(+) B cells in the patient 51 months later, before significant increase in lymphocyte count or CD5(+) B cells. This indication of reemergence of the leukemic clone was verified by VH sequencing. Lamprey antibodies can exhibit exquisite specificity for a protein epitope, a CLL signature VH CDR3 sequence in this case, and offer a rapid strategy for generating anti-idiotype antibodies for early detection of leukemia recurrence.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by the clonal expansion of CD5-expressing B lymphocytes. Most studies have found that these leukemic CD5+ B cells, like their normal counterparts, use immunoglobulin (Ig) variable (V) region genes that exhibit minimal, if any, somatic diversity. These and other observations have suggested that CD5+ B cells may be incapable of generating Ig V gene diversity, and therefore may not be able to develop higher affinity binding sites that could be selected by antigen. However, most of the studies of CLL and normal CD5+ B cells have focused on IgM-producing cells. Since somatic mutations are most often seen in B cells that have undergone an isotype class switch, we analyzed the Ig heavy (H) and light (L) chain variable region genes of seven IgG+CD5+ CLL B cells to determine if somatic diversification and antigen selection had occurred. The data derived provide evidence for skewed use, somatic diversification, and antigenic selection of the Ig V region genes. Nonrandom use of both H and L chain V region genes was manifested by an overrepresentation of VH4 and VKI family genes and the underrepresentation of the JH4 gene segment. Furthermore, VH4 gene use was restricted to only two family members (4.21 and 4.18). In four of the seven cases, the VH and VL genes displayed > or = 5% difference from the most homologous known germline counterparts. Polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analyses performed in two of these patients demonstrated that their unique VH CDR2 and adjacent sequences were not present in their germline DNA. In addition, a significant level of diversity was seen in the rearranged DJH segments and at the VL-JL junctions of every patient that occurred both at the time of recombination and subsequently. The localization of replacement changes to complementarity determining regions of some patients suggested that antigen selection had occurred. Furthermore, the mutations identified in the VH and VL genes of each individual patient were strikingly similar, both in number and location. Collectively, the data indicate that a subset of CD5+ CLL B cells can display Ig V region gene mutations. In addition, they are consistent with the notions that in some cases antigen selection of these mutations may have occurred, and that antigen stimulation may be a promoting factor in the evolution of certain CLL clones.
Project description:To analyze the structure and formally ascertain the B-1a cellular origin of IgM rheumatoid factor (RF) autoantibodies, we generated 4 IgM RF mAb-producing cell lines using sorted (surface CD5+) B-1a cells from a patient with active rheumatoid arthritis. The RF mAb111, mAb112, mAb113, and mAb114 were monoreactive and displayed a relatively high affinity for human IgG Fc fragment (Kd, 3.1 x 10(-7) to 6.8 x 10(-7) M). The B-1a origin of the lymphocytes that gave rise to the IgM RF was confirmed by the expression of surface CD5 and specific CD5 mRNA by all mAb-producing cell lines. Analysis of the genes encoding the RF mAb VH and VL regions revealed that members of the VHI and VHIII families were utilized in conjunction with V kappa IIIa, V kappa IIIb, or V lambda I genes. JH3 and JH4 genes were each utilized twice. The H chain CDR3 sequences were divergent and variable in length. The RF mAb VH genes were identical or closely related to those expressed in the "restricted" fetal B cell repertoire and/or were JH-proximal. For instance, mAb111 VH gene likely constituted a mutated variant of the expressed fetal 20P3 which is the second most JH-proximal gene (125 kb from JH). In addition, the expressed VH and VL genes were among those that have been found to encode other RF, different autoantibodies, high affinity antibodies induced by exogenous Ag, and natural autoantibodies in the adult and neonatal B cell repertoires. When compared with those of known germline genes, the expressed V gene sequences displayed a number of differences. By cloning and sequencing DNA from PMN of the same patient whose B lymphocytes were used for the mAb generation, we showed that such differences resulted from somatic hypermutation in the RF mAb112 VH gene. The germline gene (112GL) that presumably gave rise to the RF mAb112 VH segment was identical to the expressed fetal 51P1 gene. The distribution and the high replacement to silent mutation ratio of the nucleotide mutations in RF mAb112 VH segment were highly consistent with their selection by Ag. RF mAb113 was clonally related to RF mAb112, as shown by the utilization of the same sets of VHI-D-JH4 and V kappa IIIb-J kappa 4 genes, displaying identical junctional sequences, and the presence of two identical replacement and one silent mutations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Project description:RhoH is a hematopoietic-specific, GTPase-deficient member of the Rho GTPase family that functions as a regulator of thymocyte development and T-cell receptor signaling by facilitating localization of zeta-chain-associated protein kinase 70 (ZAP70) to the immunological synapse. Here we investigated the function of RhoH in the B-cell lineage. B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling was intact in Rhoh(-/-) mice. Because RhoH interacts with ZAP70, which is a prognostic factor in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we analyzed the mRNA levels of RhoH in primary human CLL cells and showed a 2.3-fold higher RhoH expression compared with normal B cells. RhoH expression in CLL positively correlated with the protein levels of ZAP70. Deletion of Rhoh in a murine model of CLL (Emu-TCL1(Tg) mice) significantly delayed the accumulation of CD5(+)IgM(+) leukemic cells in peripheral blood and the leukemic burden in the peritoneal cavity, bone marrow and spleen of Rhoh(-/-) mice compared with their Rhoh(+/+) counterparts. Phosphorylation of AKT and ERK in response to BCR stimulation was notably decreased in Emu-TCL1(Tg);Rhoh(-/-) splenocytes. These data suggest that RhoH has a function in the progression of CLL in a murine model and show RhoH expression is altered in human primary CLL samples.
Project description:Chemokines and their receptors direct migration and infiltration of immune cells. CCR1 and CCR2 maintain sequence similarity and respond to a number of the same chemokines secreted in lymphoid organs. Expression of CD38 on leukemic cells has been associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and is considered as the negative predictor of progression. In our study of newly diagnosed CLL patients, which included 39 CD38-positive and 22 CD38-negative patients, CCR1 and/or CCR2 were always detected, using flow cytometry, on the peripheral blood (PB) CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes in patients with >30% of the CD38+ CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes (n = 16). Spearman's rank correlation analysis determined correlations between the frequency of the CCR1- and CCR2-expressing PB CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes and the frequency of the CD38-positive CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes (rs = 0.50 and rs = 0.38, respectively). No significant correlations were observed between ZAP70 mRNA expression levels in PB mononuclear cells and the frequency of the circulating CCR1+ or CCR2+ CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes. Further association studies are needed to verify prognostic relevance of the CCR1/CCR2 expression on leukemic cells in CLL patients at diagnosis. We suggest that CCR1/CCR2 signaling pathways could represent attractive targets for development of CLL anti-progression therapeutics.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A feature of many B-cell tumors is a surface-expressed immunoglobulin (sIg). The complementarity determiningregions (CDRs)of the sIg, termed the 'idiotype', are unique to each tumor. We report on a phage selection strategy to generate anti-idiotype therapeutics that react with sIg CDR3 sequences: the MEC1 B-cell tumor line was used as proof of concept.<h4>Methods</h4>To create a mimetic of the MEC1 idiotype, CDR3 sequences from heavy and light chains of the sIg were grafted into a scFv framework scaffold. Using the Tomlinson I phage library of human scFvs, we enriched for binders to MEC1 CDR3 sequences over unrelated CDR3 sequences.<h4>Results</h4>By ELISA we identified 10 binder phage. Of these, five were sequenced, found to be unique and characterized further. By flow cytometry each of the five phage bound to MEC1 cells, albeit with different patterns of reactivity. To establish specificity of binding and utility, the scFv sequences from two of these binders (phage 1, and 7) were converted into antibody-toxin fusion proteins (immunotoxins) and also cloned into a human IgG1 expression vector. Binder-1 and -7 immunotoxins exhibited specific killing of MEC1 cells with little toxicity for non-target B-cell lines. The full-length antibody recreated from the binder-1 scFv so exhibited specific binding.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results establish the utility of using engrafted CDR3 sequences for selecting phage that recognize the idiotype of B-cell tumors.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is considered a clonal B cell malignancy. Sporadically, CLL cases with multiple productive heavy and light-chain rearrangements were detected, thus leading to a bi- or oligoclonal CLL disease with leukemic cells originating either from different B cells or otherwise descending from secondary immunoglobulin rearrangement events. This suggests a potential role of clonal hematopoiesis or germline predisposition in these cases. During the screening of 75 CLL cases for kappa and lambda light-chain rearrangements, we could detect a single case with CLL cells expressing two distinct kappa and lambda light chains paired with two separate immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable regions. Furthermore, this patient also developed a prostate carcinoma. Targeted genome sequencing of highly purified light-chain specific CLL clones from this patient and from the prostate carcinoma revealed the presence of a rare germline polymorphism in the POLE gene. Hence, our data suggest that the detected SNP may predispose for cancer, particularly for CLL.