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.
Project description:Burkitt lymphoma (BL), the most common pediatric cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, is a malignancy of antigen-experienced B lymphocytes. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the immunoglobulin heavy (IGH) and light chain (IGK/IGL) loci was performed on genomic DNA from 51 primary BL tumors: 19 from Uganda and 32 from Ghana. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis and tumor RNA sequencing (RNAseq) was performed on the Ugandan tumors to confirm and extend the findings from the HTS of tumor DNA. Clonal IGH and IGK/IGL rearrangements were identified in 41 and 46 tumors, respectively. Evidence for rearrangement of the second IGH allele was observed in only 6 of 41 tumor samples with a clonal IGH rearrangement, suggesting that the normal process of biallelic IGHD to IGHJ diversity-joining (DJ) rearrangement is often disrupted in BL progenitor cells. Most tumors, including those with a sole dominant, nonexpressed DJ rearrangement, contained many IGH and IGK/IGL sequences that differed from the dominant rearrangement by < 10 nucleotides, suggesting that the target of ongoing mutagenesis of these loci in BL tumor cells is not limited to expressed alleles. IGHV usage in both BL tumor cohorts revealed enrichment for IGHV genes that are infrequently used in memory B cells from healthy subjects. Analysis of publicly available DNA sequencing and RNAseq data revealed that these same IGHV genes were overrepresented in dominant tumor-associated IGH rearrangements in several independent BL tumor cohorts. These data suggest that BL derives from an abnormal B-cell progenitor and that aberrant mutational processes are active on the immunoglobulin loci in BL cells.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-like monoclonal B lymphocytosis (MBL) with (MBL(hi)) or without (MBL(lo)) absolute B-lymphocytosis precedes most CLL cases,the specific determinants for malignant progression remaining unknown.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>For this purpose, simultaneous iFISH and molecular analysis of well-established cytogenetic alterations of chromosomes 11, 12, 13, 14 and 17 together with the pattern of rearrangement of the IGHV genes were performed in CLL-like cells from MBL and CLL cases. Our results based on 78 CLL-like MBL and 117 CLL clones from 166 subjects living in the same geographical area, show the existence of three major groups of clones with distinct but partially overlapping patterns of IGHV gene usage, IGHV mutational status and cytogenetic alterations. These included a group enriched in MBL(lo) clones expressing specific IGHV subgroups (e.g. VH3-23) with no or isolated good-prognosis cytogenetic alterations, a second group which mainly consisted of clinical MBL(hi) and advanced stage CLL with a skewed but different CLL-associated IGHV gene repertoire (e.g. VH1-69), frequently associated with complex karyotypes and poor-prognosis cytogenetic alterations, and a third group of clones with intermediate features, with prevalence of mutated IGHV genes, and higher numbers of del(13q)(+) clonal B-cells.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>These findings suggest that the specific IGHV repertoire and IGHV mutational status of CLL-like B-cell clones may modulate the type of cytogenetic alterations acquired, their rate of acquisition and/or potentially also their clinical consequences. Further long-term follow-up studies investigating the IGHV gene repertoire of MBL(lo) clones in distinct geographic areas and microenvironments are required to confirm our findings and shed light on the potential role of some antigen-binding BCR specificities contributing to clonal evolution.
Project description:Clonal diversity in multiple myeloma (MM) includes both MM-related and MM-unrelated clonal expansions which are subject to dominance exerted by the MM clone. Here we show evidence for the existence of minor but highly expanded unrelated B-cell clones in patients with MM defined by their complementary determining region 3 (CDR3) peak. We further characterize these clones over the disease and subsequent treatment. Second clones were identified by their specific IgH-VDJ sequences that are distinct from those of dominant MM clones. Clonal frequencies were determined through semi-quantitative PCR, quantitative PCR and single-cell polymerase chain reaction of the clone-specific sequence. In 13/74 MM patients, more than one dominant CDR3 peak was identified with 12 patients (16%) being truly biclonal. Second clones had different frequencies, were found in different locations and were found in different cell types from the dominant MM clone. Where analysis was possible, they were shown to have chromosomal characteristic distinct from those of the MM clone. The frequency of the second clone also changed over the course of the disease and often persisted despite treatment. Molecularly-defined second clones are infrequent in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS, 1/43 individuals or 2%), suggesting that they may arise at relatively late stages of myelomagenesis. In further support of our findings, biclonal gammopathy and concomitant MM and CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) were confirmed to originate from two unrelated clones. Our data supports the idea that the clone giving rise to symptomatic myeloma exerts clonal dominance to prevent expansion of other clones. MM and second clones may arise from an underlying niche permissive of clonal expansion. The clinical significance of these highly expanded but unrelated clones remains to be confirmed. Overall, our findings add new dimensions to evaluating related and unrelated clonal expansions in MM and the impact of disease evolution and treatment on clonal diversity.
Project description:The mutational status of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (IGHV) genes utilized by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) clones defines two disease subgroups. Patients with unmutated IGHV have a more aggressive disease and a worse outcome than patients with cells having somatic IGHV gene mutations. Moreover, up to 30% of the unmutated CLL clones exhibit very similar or identical B cell receptors (BcR), often encoded by the same IG genes. These "stereotyped" BcRs have been classified into defined subsets. The presence of an IGHV gene somatic mutation and the utilization of a skewed gene repertoire compared with normal B cells together with the expression of stereotyped receptors by unmutated CLL clones may indicate stimulation/selection by antigenic epitopes. This antigenic stimulation may occur prior to or during neoplastic transformation, but it is unknown whether this stimulation/selection continues after leukemogenesis has ceased. In this study, we focused on seven CLL cases with stereotyped BcR Subset #8 found among a cohort of 700 patients; in six, the cells expressed IgG and utilized IGHV4-39 and IGKV1-39/IGKV1D-39 genes, as reported for Subset #8 BcR. One case exhibited special features, including expression of IgM or IgG by different subclones consequent to an isotype switch, allelic inclusion at the IGH locus in the IgM-expressing cells and a particular pattern of cytogenetic lesions. Collectively, the data indicate a process of antigenic stimulation/selection of the fully transformed CLL cells leading to the expansion of the Subset #8 IgG-bearing subclone.
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.
Project description:Key processes in the onset and evolution of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are thought to include chronic (antigenic) activation of mature B cells through the B cell receptor (BcR), signals from the microenvironment, and acquisition of genetic alterations. Here we describe three families in which two or more siblings were affected by CLL. We investigated whether there are immunogenetic similarities in the leukemia-specific immunoglobulin heavy (IGH) and light (IGL/IGK) chain gene rearrangements of the siblings in each family. Furthermore, we performed array analysis to study if similarities in CLL-associated chromosomal aberrations are present within each family and screened for somatic mutations using paired tumor/normal whole-genome sequencing (WGS). In two families a consistent IGHV gene mutational status (one IGHV-unmutated, one IGHV-mutated) was observed. Intriguingly, the third family with four affected siblings was characterized by usage of the lambda IGLV3-21 gene, with the hallmark R110 mutation of the recently described clinically aggressive IGLV3-21<sup>R110</sup> subset. In this family, the CLL-specific rearrangements in two siblings could be assigned to either stereotyped subset #2 or the immunogenetically related subset #169, both of which belong to the broader IGLV3-21<sup>R110</sup> subgroup. Consistent patterns of cytogenetic aberrations were encountered in all three families. Furthermore, the CLL clones carried somatic mutations previously associated with IGHV mutational status, cytogenetic aberrations and stereotyped subsets, respectively. From these findings, we conclude that similarities in immunogenetic characteristics in familial CLL, in combination with genetic aberrations acquired, point towards shared underlying mechanisms behind CLL development within each family.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>We assessed the applicability of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based IGH/IGK clonality testing and analyzed the repertoire of immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) or immunoglobulin kappa light chain (IGK) gene usage in Korean patients with multiple myeloma (MM) for the first time.<h4>Methods</h4>Fifty-nine bone marrow samples from 57 Korean patients with MM were analyzed, and NGS-based clonality testing that targeted the IGH and IGK genes was performed using IGH FR1 and IGK primer sets.<h4>Results</h4>Clonal IGH and IGK rearrangements were observed in 74.2% and 67.7% of samples from Korean patients with kappa-restricted MM, respectively (90.3% had one or both), and in 60.7% and 95.5% of samples from those with lambda-restricted MM, respectively (85.7% had one or both). In total, 88.1% of samples from Koreans with MM had clonal IGH and/or IGK rearrangement. Clonal rearrangement was not significantly associated with the bone marrow plasma cells as a proportion of all BM lymphoid cells. IGHV3-9 (11.63%) and IGHV4-31 (9.30%) were the most frequently reported IGHV genes and were more common in Koreans with MM than in Western counterparts. IGHD3-10 and IGHD3-3 (13.95% each) were the most frequent IGHD genes; IGHD3-3 was more common in Koreans with MM. No IGK rearrangement was particularly prevalent, but single IGKV-J rearrangements were less common in Koreans with kappa-restricted MM than in Western counterparts. IGKV4-1 was less frequent in Koreans regardless of light chain type. Otherwise, the usages of the IGH V, D, and J genes and of the IGK gene were like those observed in previous Western studies.<h4>Conclusion</h4>NGS-based IGH/IGK clonality testing ought to be applicable to most Koreans with MM. The overrepresentation of IGHV3-9, IGHV4-31, and IGHD3-3 along with the underrepresentation of IGKV4-1 and the differences in IGK gene rearrangement types suggest the existence of ethnicity-specific variations in this disease.
Project description:Clonal evolution occurs during the course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and activation-induced deaminase (AID) could influence this process. However, this possibility has been questioned in CLL because the number of circulating AID mRNA(+) cells is exceedingly low; synthesis of AID protein by blood CLL cells has not been demonstrated; the full range of AID functions is lacking in unmutated CLL (U-CLL), and no prospective analysis linking AID expression and disease severity has been reported. The results of the present study show that circulating CLL cells and those within secondary lymphoid tissues can make AID mRNA and protein. This production is related to cell division because more AID mRNA was detected in recently divided cells and AID protein was limited to the dividing fraction and was up-regulated on induction of cell division. AID protein was functional because AID(+) dividing cells exhibited more double-stranded DNA breaks, IGH class switching, and new IGHV-D-J mutations. Each of these actions was documented in U-CLL and mutated CLL (M-CLL). Furthermore, AID protein was associated with worse patient outcome and adverse cytogenetics. We conclude that the production of fully functional AID protein by U-CLL and M-CLL cells could be involved in clonal evolution of the disease.
Project description:We examined the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells of 2457 patients evaluated by the CLL Research Consortium (CRC) and found that 63 (2.6%) expressed immunoglobulin (Ig) encoded by the Ig heavy-chain-variable-region gene (IGHV), IGHV3-21. We identified the amino acid sequence DANGMDV (motif-1) or DPSFYSSSWTLFDY (motif-2) in the Ig heavy-chain (IgH) third complementarity-determining region (HCDR3) of IgH, respectively, used by 25 or 3 cases. The IgH with HCDR3 motif-1 or motif-2, respectively, was paired with Ig light chains (IgL) encoded by IGLV3-21 or IGKV3-20, suggesting that these Ig had been selected for binding to conventional antigen(s). Cases that had HCDR3 motif-1 had a median time from diagnosis to initial therapy comparable with that of cases without a defined HCDR3 motif, as did cases that used mutated IGHV3-21 (n = 27) versus unmutated IGHV3-21 (n = 30). Of 7 examined cases that used Ig encoded by IGHV3-21/IGLV3-21, we found that 5 had a functionally rearranged IGKV allele that apparently had incurred antigendriven somatic mutations and subsequent rearrangement with KDE. This study reveals that CLL cells expressing IGHV3-21/IGLV3-21 most likely were derived from B cells that had experienced somatic mutation and germinal-center maturation in an apparent antigen-driven immune response before undergoing Ig-receptor editing and after germinal-center leukemogenic selection.
Project description:Immunoglobulins (Ig) are produced by B lymphocytes as secreted antibodies or as part of the B-cell receptor. There is tremendous diversity of potential Ig transcripts (>1 × 10(12)) as a result of hundreds of germ-line gene segments, random nucleotide incorporation during joining of gene segments into a complete transcript, and the process of somatic hypermutation at individual nucleotides. This recombination and mutation process takes place in the maturing B cell and is responsible for the diversity of potential epitope recognition. Cancers arising from mature B cells are characterized by clonal production of Ig heavy (IGH@) and light chain transcripts, although whether the sequence has undergone somatic hypermutation is dependent on the maturation stage at which the neoplastic clone arose. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults and arises from a mature B cell with either mutated or unmutated IGH@ transcripts, the latter having worse prognosis and the assessment of which is routinely performed in the clinic. Currently, IGHV mutation status is assessed by Sanger sequencing and comparing the transcript to known germ-line genes. In this paper, we demonstrate that complete IGH@ V-D-J sequences can be computed from unselected RNA-seq reads with results equal or superior to the clinical procedure: in the only discordant case, the clinical transcript was out-of-frame. Therefore, a single RNA-seq assay can simultaneously yield gene expression profile, SNP and mutation information, as well as IGHV mutation status, and may one day be performed as a general test to capture multidimensional clinically relevant data in CLL.