Comparative M-FISH and CGH analyses in sensitive and drug-resistant human T-cell acute leukemia cell lines

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2002;98(2-3):118-25. doi: 10.1159/000069808.


Cell lines of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALL) have gained high interest for study of mechanisms of cytostatic drug resistance. However, they should also be suited to examine the validity and reliability of molecular cytogenetic techniques in detecting genomic alterations in neoplastic cells. Therefore, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and 24-color-fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization (M-FISH) were applied to eight sublines of CCRF-CEM leukemia cells selected in vitro for drug resistance and to their drug-sensitive parental counterparts. All cell lines were characterized by altered chromosome numbers and by a variety of chromosomal structural aberrations as shown by M-FISH. The great majority of anomalies detected by this technique were confirmed by CGH. Interestingly, a considerable number of the rearrangements found were imbalanced. Amplifications of 5q13 in the six methotrexate-resistant cell lines, a del(9)(p21pter) in all lines examined, and a gain of chromosome 20 in 9 of the 10 lines examined were readily detected by both techniques. The same held true for losses of chromosomes 17 and 18 in the near tetraploid cell lines which could also be confirmed by CGH. Some imbalances of genomic material detected by CGH were, however, not observed by means of M-FISH, possibly due to the limited extension of the corresponding chromosomal segment involved or the small subpopulation of cells affected. On the other hand, reciprocal translocations, balanced isochromosomes, and small deletions remained mainly undetected by CGH. A comparison of chromosomal alterations in drug-resistant and parental cell lines showed not only amplifications of chromosomal segments harboring well-known drug resistance genes, e.g., the dihydrofolate reductase gene, but also chromosomal changes which may involve novel genes associated with drug resistance. Thus, the present study has clearly unveiled the strengths and weaknesses of both techniques which can excellently complement each other. Their combination allowed a distinct improvement of the definition of the complex karyotypes of drug-resistant cell lines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosomes, Human
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / drug therapy
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured