Background: Protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor gamma (PTPRG) is a ubiquitously expressed member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase family known to act as a tumor suppressor gene in many different neoplasms with mechanisms of inactivation including mutations and methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region. Although a critical role in human hematopoiesis and an oncosuppressor role in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have been reported, only one polyclonal antibody (named chPTPRG) has been described as capable of recognizing the native antigen of this phosphatase by flow cytometry. Protein biomarkers of CML have not yet found applications in the clinic, and in this study, we have analyzed a group of newly diagnosed CML patients before and after treatment. The aim of this work was to characterize and exploit a newly developed murine monoclonal antibody specific for the PTPRG extracellular domain (named TPγ B9-2) to better define PTPRG protein downregulation in CML patients.
Methods: TPγ B9-2 specifically recognizes PTPRG (both human and murine) by flow cytometry, western blotting, immunoprecipitation, and immunohistochemistry.
Results: Co-localization experiments performed with both anti-PTPRG antibodies identified the presence of isoforms and confirmed protein downregulation at diagnosis in the Philadelphia-positive myeloid lineage (including CD34+/CD38bright/dim cells). After effective tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment, its expression recovered in tandem with the return of Philadelphia-negative hematopoiesis. Of note, PTPRG mRNA levels remain unchanged in tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) non-responder patients, confirming that downregulation selectively occurs in primary CML cells.
Conclusions: The availability of this unique antibody permits its evaluation for clinical application including the support for diagnosis and follow-up of these disorders. Evaluation of PTPRG as a potential therapeutic target is also facilitated by the availability of a specific reagent capable to specifically detect its target in various experimental conditions.
Keywords: BCR-ABL1; Chronic myeloid leukemia; Monoclonal antibody; Protein tyrosine phosphatase; Tumor suppressor gene.