Transcriptome analysis of Sézary syndrome and lymphocytic-variant hypereosinophilic syndrome T cells reveals common and divergent genes
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Andrea M. Moerman-Herzog1, Daniel A. Acheampong1,2, Amanda G. Brooks1, Suzan M. Blair1, Ping-Ching Hsu3 and Henry K. Wong1
1 Department of Dermatology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
2 Joint Graduate Program in Bioinformatics, University of Arkansas at Little Rock and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
3 Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
|Henry K. Wong,||email:||[email protected]|
Keywords: Sézary syndrome; lymphocytic-variant hypereosinophilic syndrome; biomarkers; microarrays; progression
Received: May 24, 2019 Accepted: July 15, 2019 Published: August 20, 2019
Sézary syndrome (SS) is an aggressive cutaneous T cell lymphoma with pruritic skin inflammation and immune dysfunction, driven by neoplastic, clonal memory T cells in both peripheral blood and skin. To gain insight into abnormal gene expression promoting T cell dysfunction, lymphoproliferation and transformation in SS, we first compared functional transcriptomic profiles of both resting and activated CD4+CD45RO+ T cells from SS patients and normal donors to identified differential expressed genes. Next, a meta-analysis was performed to compare our SS data to public microarray data from a novel benign disease control, lymphocytic-variant hypereosinophilic syndrome (L-HES). L-HES is a rare, clonal lymphoproliferation of abnormal memory T cells that produces similar clinical symptoms as SS, including severe pruritus and eosinophilia. Comparison revealed gene sets specific for either SS (370 genes) or L-HES (519 genes), and a subset of 163 genes that were dysregulated in both SS and L-HES T cells compared to normal donor T cells. Genes confirmed by RT-qPCR included elevated expression of PLS3, TWIST1 and TOX only in SS, while IL17RB mRNA was increased only in L-HES. CDCA7 was increased in both diseases. In an L-HES patient who progressed to peripheral T cell lymphoma, the malignant transformation identified increases in the expression of CDCA7, TIGIT, and TOX, which are highly expressed in SS, suggesting that these genes contribute to neoplastic transformation. In summary, we have identified gene expression biomarkers that implicate a common transformative mechanism and others that are unique to differentiate SS from L-HES.
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