Genetic and Epigenetic Profiling of Mantle Cell Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) both belong to the group of mature B-cell malignancies. However, MCL is typically clinically aggressive while the clinical course of CLL varies. CLL can be divided into prognostic subgroups based on IGHV mutational status and into multiple subsets based on closely homologous (stereotyped) B-cell receptors. In paper I we investigated 31 MCL cases using high-density 250K single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays and gene expression arrays. Although most copy-number aberrations (CNAs) were previously reported in MCL, a novel deletion was identified at 20q (16%) containing the candidate tumor suppressor gene ZFP64. A high proliferation gene expression signature was associated with poor prognosis, large CNAs, 7p gains and 9q losses. Losses at 1p/8p/13q/17p were associated with increased genomic complexity. In paper II we sequenced exons 4 to 8 of the TP53 gene in 119 MCL cases. 17p copy-number status was known from previous studies or determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. TP53 mutations were detected in 14% of cases and were strongly associated with poor survival while 17p deletions were more common (32%) but did not predict survival. In papers III and IV we applied high-resolution genomic 27K methylation arrays to 20 MCL and 39 CLL samples. In paper III MCL displayed a homogenous methylation profile without correlation with the proliferation signature whereas MCL was clearly separated from CLL. Gene ontology analysis revealed enrichment of developmental genes, in particular homeobox transcription factor genes, among targets methylated in MCL. In paper IV we compared three different stereotyped CLL subsets: #1 (IGHV unmutated), #2 (IGHV3-21) and #4 (IGHV mutated). Many genes were differentially methylated between each two subsets and immune response genes (e.g. CD80 and CD86) were enriched among genes methylated in subset #1 but not in subsets #2/#4.In summary, CNAs were frequent and not random in MCL. Specific CNAs correlated with a high proliferation gene expression signature or genomic complexity. TP53 mutations predicted short survival whereas 17p deletions did not. A high proliferation signature was not associated with differential DNA methylation in MCL, which demonstrated a homogeneous methylation pattern. In contrast, genomic methylation patterns differed between MCL and CLL and between stereotyped CLL subsets.