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Somatic MED12 mutations are associated with poor prognosis markers in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

  • Author(s): Kämpjärvi, Kati;
  • Järvinen, Tiina M;
  • Heikkinen, Tuomas;
  • Ruppert, Amy S;
  • Senter, Leigha;
  • Hoag, Kevin W;
  • Dufva, Olli;
  • Kontro, Mika;
  • Rassenti, Laura;
  • Hertlein, Erin;
  • Kipps, Thomas J;
  • Porkka, Kimmo;
  • Byrd, John C;
  • de la Chapelle, Albert;
  • Vahteristo, Pia
  • et al.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults. We performed systematic database search and identified highly specific MED12 mutations in CLL patients. To study this further, we collected three independent sample series comprising over 700 CLL samples and screened MED12 exons 1 and 2 by direct sequencing. Mutations were identified at significant frequency in all three series with a combined mutation frequency of 5.2% (37/709). Positive mutation status was found to be associated with unmutated IGHV and ZAP70 expression, which are well-known poor prognosis markers in CLL. Our results recognize CLL as the first extrauterine cancer type where 5'terminus of MED12 is mutated at significant frequency. Functional analyses have shown that these mutations lead to dissociation of Cyclin C-CDK8/19 from the core Mediator and to the loss of Mediator-associated CDK kinase activity. Additional studies on the role of MED12 mutation status as a putative prognostic factor as well as mutations' exact tumorigenic mechanism in CLL are warranted.

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