Recent studies have suggested that one of the polycomb group genes,BMI- 1, has an important role in the maintenance of normal and leukemic stem cells by repressing theINK4a/ARF locus. Here, we quantitatively examinedBMI- 1 expression level in samples from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematologic malignancies. Moderate to highBMI- 1 expression was detected in AML patients, and theBMI- 1 expression levels in AML samples were significantly higher than in normal bone marrow controls(P =.0011). Specimens of French-American-British classification subtype M0 showed higher relative expression of the BMI-1 transcript (median, 390.2 x 10-3) than the other subtypes (median, 139.0 x 10-3)(P <.0001). Leukemia other than AML showed low to moderate expression. INK4a-ARF transcript expression tended to be inverse proportion to that of BMI-1. In an M0 patient with a high BMI-1 transcript level, the INK4a-ARF transcript level fell promptly and maintained a low value after the patient achieved complete remission. These results indicated that a subgroup of M0 patients has a high expression level of polycomb group geneBMI- 1, which may contribute to leukemogenesis.
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Sawa, M., Yamamoto, K., Yokozawa, T. et al. BMI-1 is Highly Expressed in M0-Subtype Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Int J Hematol 82, 42–47 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1532/IJH97.05013