Detection of Hybrid Fusion Transcripts, Aberrant Transcript Expression, and Specific Single Nucleotide Variants in Acute Leukemia and Myeloid Disorders with Recurrent Gene Rearrangements.

TitleDetection of Hybrid Fusion Transcripts, Aberrant Transcript Expression, and Specific Single Nucleotide Variants in Acute Leukemia and Myeloid Disorders with Recurrent Gene Rearrangements.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsLi Y, Deng K, Kaner J, Geyer JT, Ouseph M, Fang F, Xu K, Roboz G, Kluk MJ
JournalPathobiology
Volume91
Issue1
Pagination76-88
Date Published2024
ISSN1423-0291
KeywordsGene Rearrangement, Humans, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, Nuclear Proteins, Nucleotides, RNA, Transcription Factors
Abstract

INTRODUCTION: A variety of gene rearrangements and molecular alterations are key drivers in the pathobiology of acute leukemia and myeloid disorders; current classification systems increasingly incorporate these findings in diagnostic algorithms. Therefore, clinical laboratories require versatile tools, which can detect an increasing number and variety of molecular and cytogenetic alterations of clinical significance.

METHODS: We validated an RNA-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay that enables the detection of: (i) numerous hybrid fusion transcripts (including rare/novel gene partners), (ii) aberrantly expressed EVI1 (MECOM) and IKZF1 (Del exons 4-7) transcripts, and (iii) hotspot variants in KIT, ABL1, NPM1 (relevant in the context of gene rearrangement status).

RESULTS: For hybrid fusion transcripts, the assay showed 98-100% concordance for known positive and negative samples, with an analytical sensitivity (i.e., limit of detection) of approximately 0.8% cells. Samples with underlying EVI1 (MECOM) translocations demonstrated increased EVI1 (MECOM) expression. Aberrant IKZF1 (Del exons 4-7) transcripts detectable with the assay were also present on orthogonal reverse transcription PCR. Specific hotspot mutations in KIT, ABL1, and NPM1 detected with the assay showed 100% concordance with orthogonal testing. Lastly, several illustrative samples are included to highlight the assay's clinically relevant contributions to patient workup.

CONCLUSION: Through its ability to simultaneously detect various gene rearrangements, aberrantly expressed transcripts, and hotspot mutations, this RNA-based NGS assay is a valuable tool for clinical laboratories to supplement other molecular and cytogenetic methods used in the diagnostic workup and in clinical research for patients with acute leukemia and myeloid disorders.

DOI10.1159/000532085
Alternate JournalPathobiology
PubMed ID37490880
Related Faculty: 
Michael Kluk, M.D., Ph.D. Madhu Ouseph, M.D., Ph.D. Julia Geyer, M.D.

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