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Leucémie lymphoïde chronique : étude des marqueurs du pronostic et de l'instabilité génomique

Abstract : Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a frequent lymphoid hemopathy characterized by an extremely variable clinical course. Although there are numerous prognostic markers in CLL, none is univocal. In this context, identifying new predictive factors and understanding the pathophysiology of previously established prognostic markers represent two important aims to improve therapeutic management of this hemopathy. We first chose to study the prognostic value and mechanisms of regulation of antiapoptotic MCL1 gene expression. We showed that MCL1 expression is a predictive marker of overall survival within the whole patient cohort and among early stages; this marker is also a predictor of treatment free survival of stage A patients. Thus, MCL1 expression allows early identification of CLL forms with high risk and low risk of unfavourable evolution. We alsodemonstrated that MCL1 expression is strongly correlated to VEGF expression, confirming the role of this signalling pathway in tumour lymphocytes survival and suggesting that VEGF may be a positive autocrine regulator of MCL1 expression. We then explored telomeric function regarding prognosis-related chromosomal anomalies, reflecting genomic instability. Our work contributed to demonstrate the relationship between genomic instability and telomeric status, evaluated by telomere length and expression of hTERT and shelterin complex genes. We described three groups of patients with distinct cytogenetic and telomeric profile: first group combines good-prognosis cytogenetics, long telomeres, low or negative hTERT expression and high expression of the shelterin complex genes; third group displays multiple chromosome aberrations (particularly 17p and 11q deletions), increased hTERT expression and decreased telomere length and TRF1, TRF2 and POT1 expression levels; second group is intermediate. These results confirm the relationship between telomeric status and genomic instability in CLL and underline the role of TP53 or ATM loss in this telomeric dysfunction. The alteration of telomeric status is also associated with poor-prognosis features, such as unmutated IgVH, CD38 expression and rapid lymphocytosis doubling time. Finally, we evaluated the contribution of MLPA approach for detection of recurrent prognosis-related cytogenetic anomalies. We found a good concordance between the goldstandard technique and MLPA, which represent a time and cost-effective approach for the detection of genomic aberrations affecting most malignant cells. We however described interesting MLPA false-positive and false-negative cases, indicating that this method may not replace classic techniques, but may constitute a complementary approach allowingsimultaneous evaluation of various imbalances.
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Lauren Veronese. Leucémie lymphoïde chronique : étude des marqueurs du pronostic et de l'instabilité génomique. Biologie moléculaire. Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013CLF1MM09⟩. ⟨tel-01166355⟩

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