An investigation into the expression of apoptosis - regulating proteins CD38+ and CD38- CLL subsets from patients with bimodal expression of the CD38 antigen.
Taylor, Hannah Maria
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The presence or absence of the CD38 antigen on B-lymphocytes has been shown to confer prognostic information in patients diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). CLL patients whose B-lymphocytes express high levels of CD38 have been found to have a worse prognosis when compared to those who are negative for the CD38 antigen. The underlying mechanism for this prognostic difference remains obscure. However, since CLL is characterised by failed apoptosis, altered expression of apoptosis-regulating proteins may exist in those B-lymphocytes expressing the CD38 antigen. In this study we have identified 29 CLL patients who express a bimodal pattern of CD38 antigen on their B-lymphocytes, thus allowing the identification of positive and negative CD38 sub-clones within the patients. Fluorescent antibody labelling of intracellular apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2, Bax, Mcl-1, Bag-1 and Bid within the B-lymphocyte population, those lymphocytes which were CD19 and CD5 positive, allowed for the first time the measurement of expression of the Bcl-2 family of apoptosis-regulating proteins, in CD38 positive (+) and CD38 negative (-) sub-clones, within the same patient. The data shows that the worse prognosis incurred by those patients with CD38+ B-lymphocytes may be due, in part, to the significant over-expression of anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2,Mcl-1 and Bag-1 within these sub-clones.
MSc Biomedical Sciences
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