Background: The p16(INK4a) locus encodes two distinct proteins, p16(INK4a) and p14(ARF). Although p16(INK4a) and p15(INK4b) are involved in the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein, p14(ARF) interacts with the MDM-2 oncoprotein antagonizing its function as a suppressor of p53. The role of deletions of p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF) and p15(INK4b) and expressions of MDM-2 in myeloid leukemias and its influence on prognosis remain unclear.
Methods: The authors analyzed deletions of p16(INK4)/p14(ARF) and p15(INK4b) in 74 adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by Southern blotting. Western blotting was used to determine Rb protein phosphorylation in patients with deletions of p16(INK4)/p14(ARF) and p15(INK4b). Then, they analyzed the levels of MDM-2 protein expression and correlated it with prognosis in an expanded population of 79 adults with AML by immunoblot analysis and solid-phase radioimmunoassay.
Results: Deletions of p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF) and/or p15(INK4b) occurred in 4 of 74 patients (5%) (hemizygous in 3, homozygous in 1 patient). Although the complete remission (CR) rate was similar (79% vs. 50%; P = 0.187), CR duration (10 vs. 46 weeks; P < 0.001), event free survival rate (EFS; 6 vs. 85 weeks; P < 0.004) and overall survival rate (11 vs. 86 weeks; P = 0.001) were significantly shorter in patients with deletions of p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF) and/or p15(INK4b). Thirty-seven (47%) of 79 patients studied for MDM-2 showed increased MDM-2 expression. These patients had a significantly shorter EFS rate (50 vs. 64 weeks; P = 0.023) and a trend for shorter CR duration (24 vs. 53 weeks; P = 0.07). Overall survival rate was not significantly different (50 vs. 84 weeks; P = 0.136).
Conclusions: The authors concluded that 1) deletions of p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF) and/or p15(INK4b) occur with low incidence in patients with AML; 2) patients with deletions of p16(INK4a)/p14(ARF) and/or p15(INK4b) have a significantly shorter CR duration, EFS rate, and overall survival rate than do patients without deletions; (3) overexpression of MDM-2 is common in AML and is associated with shorter CR duration and EFS rate. Mechanisms other than p14(ARF) deletion are responsible for MDM-2 overexpression, and this overexpression may play a role in the biology of the disease.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.