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Title: Abnormalities affecting tyrosine kinase signalling in atypical myeloproliferative disorders
Author: Hidalgo-Curtis, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 6712
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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The myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) are a group of haematopoietic stem cell diseases, characterised by proliferation of one or more cells of the myeloid lineage. Several lines of evidence have highlighted the importance of aberrant tyrosine kinase signalling in the pathogenesis of these disorders. Cloning of rare chromosomal translocations and point mutation analysis in the MPDs has identified diverse deregulated tyrosine kinase genes, notably PDGFRA, PDGFRB, FGFR1 and JAK2. However the majority of atypical MPDs still remain to be characterised and identification of patients harbouring fusions, particularly those involving the PDGF receptors is of increasing importance, as they are likely to be responsive to targeted therapy with imatinib. I am investigating MPD patients for abnormalities affecting tyrosine kinase signalling, and have used three approaches, translocation cloning, expression analysis and SNP array analysis to detect regions of loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Thus far, by translocation cloning I have identified a previously undescribed partner gene fused to PDGFRB and two new PDGFRA fusion genes. I have also designed two reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays and a cDNA MLPA assay to detect over-expression of specific tyrosine kinases screening approximately 200 patients. Each assay identified all patients previously diagnosed with known fusions. Additionally, two patients identified with overexpression of PDGFRB have been found to have cryptic ETV6-PDGFRB fusions and overexpression of PDGFRA in one patient lead to the discovery of a previously undescribed fusion involving a novel partner gene (KIF5B). Recent evidence has indicated that acquired isodisomy is a novel mechanism by which mutations in cancer may be reduced to homozygosity. Typically, acquired isodisomy is associated with oncogenic changes rather than tumour suppressor genes, eg. the activating JAK2 V617F mutation and 9p aUPD. I have undertaken a screen using Affymetrix 50K SNP arrays for regions of acquired isodisomy as a means to identify genomic regions that may harbour novel oncogenes in different subgroups of MPD patients. Large tracts of homozygosity (defined as >20Mb running to a telomere), strongly suggesting acquired isodisomy, were seen in 40% aMPD patients. The homozygous tracts encompassed diverse genomic regions in aMPD, but two common regions (3 cases for each region) were identified at 7q and 11q. Mutations in the CBL ubiquitin ligase gene were discovered in all three aCML patients with 11q aUPD as well as in an additional 23 MPD patients following further screening.
Supervisor: Cross, Nicholas ; Grand, F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RB Pathology ; QH426 Genetics