Surface immunoglobulin light chain expression in pre-B cell leukemias

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Antigens, Neoplasm; *B-Lymphocytes; Clone Cells; Flow Cytometry; Humans; Immunoglobulin Light Chains; Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains; Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains; Leukemia; Neprilysin; Nucleic Acid Hybridization; RNA; Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


Cytofluorographic analysis of surface immunoglobulin (sIg) light chain clonal excess (CE), defined as (%kappa+ - %lambda+)/(%kappa+ + %lambda+) cells per discrete level of fluorescence intensity, was carried out on mononuclear cells of 32 leukemic patients. Eight demonstrated sIg light chain CE, including four blastic chronic myeloid leukemias (BL-CML), three "null" acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL), and one leukemic lymphoblastic lymphoma. Six of the leukemias demonstrated a kappa CE and two had a lambda CE. Sorted kappa+ PB cells from a BL-CML patient were shown to have a diploid DNA stem line and to bear the "common" ALL antigen. To provide further support for our finding of the expression of sIg light chains in ALL, we studied the REH cell line, derived from a "common" ALL patient and found cytoplasmic mu heavy chain and surface Ig lambda CE. Nucleic acid blotting experiments on REH revealed that both kappa genes had been deleted and that lambda genes had been rearranged, as expected in B cells expressing lambda light chains. Moreover, REH cells contained mu and lambda RNA. When REH cells were treated with TPA the amount of mu chain RNA increased by approximately fivefold and the amount of lambda chain RNA increased by approximately twofold. The finding of sIg light chain in pre-B cell leukemias and in the REH cell line, suggests that these leukemic cells are further differentiated along the B-cell lineage than was previously believed.

DOI of Published Version



Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1986;468:211-26.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

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