Purpose: Serum B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) levels have been found to be elevated in a number of immune disease models. Therefore, we sought to establish whether BLyS levels were elevated in patients with B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders and to determine whether elevated BLyS levels correlated with clinical characteristics of the disease. Patients and Methods: Specimens were collected from the peripheral blood of individuals diagnosed with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL; n = 70) or from age- and sex-matched patients seen at the same institution (n = 41). Serum BLyS levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and sequencing of the BLyS promoter was performed by conventional methods and confirmed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Results: We found that elevated BLyS levels were more common in patients with familial B-CLL than individuals with sporadic B-CLL or normal controls. Because of this association, we sequenced the BLyS promoter in patients with B-CLL and normal controls and identified a polymorphic site, -871 C/T. We found that the wild-type sequence was significantly underrepresented in patients with familial B-CLL (4%) compared with patients with sporadic B-CLL (30%; P = .01) or controls (24%; P = .04). Furthermore, using a luciferase reporter under control of the BLyS promoter containing either a C or a T at position -871, we found that the reporter construct containing a T at -871 had a 2.6-fold increase in activity (P = .004). Conclusion: Our data suggest serum BLyS levels are elevated in patients with familial B-CLL and that elevated BLyS levels correlate with the presence of a T at -871 in the BLyS promoter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research