Overexpression ofZNF342by juxtaposition withMPOpromoter/enhancer in the novel translocation t(17;19)(q23;q13.32) in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia and analysis of ZNF342 expression in leukemia

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We report a novel translocation t(17;19)(q22;q13.32) found in 100% of blast cells from a pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and vectorette polymerase chain reaction were used to precisely map the chromosomal breakpoint located on the derivative chromosome 17 at 352 bp 5′ ofMPO, encoding myeloperoxidase a highly expressed protein in myeloid cells, and 2,085 bp 5′ ofZNF342on 19q, encoding a transcription factor expressed in human stem cells and previously implicated in mouse models of leukemia. Analysis of RNA levels from the patient sample revealed significant overexpression ofZNF342, potentially contributing to AML formation. This is the first report of a translocation in myeloid leukemia occurring only in the promoter/enhancer regions of the two genes involved, similar to translocations commonly found in lymphoid malignancies. Analysis of ZNF342 protein levels in a large dataset of leukemia samples by reverse phase protein array showed that higher levels of ZNF342 expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia was associated with poorer outcome (P= 0.033). In the myeloid leukemia samples with the highest ZNF342 expression, there was overrepresentation of FLT3 internal tandem duplication (P= 0.0016) and AML subtype M7 (P= 0.0002). Thus, overexpression ofZNF342by translocation or other mechanisms contributes to leukemia biology in multiple hematopoietic compartments.

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