Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a major chemotactic and mitogenic factor for connective tissue cells. The amino acid sequence shares an overall 28-38% identity to IGFBPs and contains critical conserved sequences in the amino terminus. It has been demonstrated that human CTGF specifically binds IGFs with low affinity and is considered to be a member of the IGFBP superfamily (IGFBP-rP2). In the present study, the expression of CTGF (IGFBP-rP2) in human leukaemic lymphoblasts from children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) was investigated. RNA samples from tumour clones enriched by ficoll separation of bone marrow or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) from 107 patients with childhood ALL at diagnosis and 57 adult patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) were studied by RT-PCR. In addition MNC samples from children with IDDM and cord blood samples from healthy newborns were investigated as control groups. Sixty-one percent of the patients with ALL (65 of 107) were positive for CTGF (IGFBP-rP2) expression. In the control groups, no expression of CTGF (IGFBP-rP2) in peripheral MNC was detected, and in the group of adult CML patients only 3.5% (2 of 57) were positive for this gene. The role of CTGF (IGFBP-rP2) in lymphoblastic leukaemogenesis requires further evaluation, as does its potential utility as a tumour marker.
Copyright 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.