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Single-Cell Analysis and Next-Generation Immuno-Sequencing Show That Multiple Clones Persist in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

ABSTRACT: The immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) gene rearrangement in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) provides a unique molecular signature; however, we demonstrate that 26/198 CLL patients (13%) had more than one IGH rearrangement, indicating the power of molecular technology over phenotypic analysis. Single-cell PCR analysis and next-generation immuno-sequencing identified IGH-defined clones. In 23% (18/79) of cases whose clones carried unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) genes (U-CLL), IGH rearrangements were bialleic with one productive (P) and one non-productive (NP) allele. Two U-CLL were biclonal, each clone being monoallelic (P). In 119 IGHV-mutated (M-CLL) cases, one had biallelic rearrangements in their CLL (P/NP) and five had 2-4 distinct clones. Allelic exclusion was maintained in all B-clones analyzed. Based on single-cell PCR analysis, 5/11 partner clones (45%) reached levels of >5x10(9) cells/L, suggesting second CLL clones. Partner clones persisted over years. Conventional IGH characterization and next-generation sequencing of 13 CLL, 3 multiple myeloma, 2 Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and 3 age-matched healthy donors consistently identified the same rearranged IGH sequences. Most multiple clones occurred in M-CLL, perhaps indicative of weak clonal dominance, thereby associating with a good prognosis. In contrast, biallelic CLL occurred primarily in U-CLL thus being associated with poor prognosis. Extending beyond intra-clonal diversity, molecular analysis of clonal evolution and apparent subclones in CLL may also reflect inter-clonal diversity.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4564241 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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