PTK7: a new biomarker for immunophenotypic characterization of maturing T cells and T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Leuk Res. 2012 Nov;36(11):1347-53. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Aug 13.


Protein tyrosine kinase-7 (PTK7) was recently identified as a surface protein expressed on hematopoietic cells. To determine if PTK7 is a useful biomarker in clinical practice for acute leukemia immunophenotyping and detection, we examined the PTK7 expression in human bone marrow and thymic specimens. Our results show that PTK7 expression in normal thymic T cells is tightly regulated during the maturational process, but in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) the expected temporal relationship of expression between PTK7 and other maturational T cell markers is lost or disrupted. In addition, nearly all T-ALL cases expressed higher PTK7 levels than mature T cells in the human bone marrow specimens. Therefore, in conjunction with other T cell markers, PTK7 has utility as a biomarker for detecting minimal residual disease of T-ALL in the bone marrow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping / methods*
  • Neoplasm, Residual / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm, Residual / metabolism
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • PTK7 protein, human
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases