Expression levels of asparagine synthetase in blasts from children and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Br J Haematol. 2006 Mar;132(6):740-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2005.05945.x.


L-asparaginase is active in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) through the depletion of serum asparagine. Here we report that median asparagine synthetase (AS) mRNA levels were higher in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) than ALL blasts in both children and adults, with intermediate levels in normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (NPBMC). NPBMC versus child ALL (Tukeys multiple comparison test, P < 0.05); child ALL versus child AML (P < 0.001) and adult ALL versus adult AML (P < 0.01) were all significant and support the hypothesis that selectivity to treatment with l-asparaginase is due, at least in part, to lower AS expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aspartate-Ammonia Ligase / analysis*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / enzymology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / enzymology
  • Lymphocytes / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / enzymology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Aspartate-Ammonia Ligase