Prognostic significance of the PANK family expression in acute myeloid leukemia

Ann Transl Med. 2019 Jun;7(12):261. doi: 10.21037/atm.2019.05.28.


Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a highly heterogenous hematological malignancy and its prognostication depends on the genetic mutation and expression profile of each patient. Pantothenate kinase (PANK) is a regulatory enzyme that controls coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. It has four isoforms encoded by PANK1-4, respectively. Whether the expression of the PANK family has prognostic significance in AML remains unclear.

Methods: We screened The Cancer Genome Atlas database for AML patients with complete PANK1-4 expression data. Eighty-four AML patients met the criteria and were included in this study. Clinical characteristics at diagnosis, including peripheral blood (PB) white blood cell counts (WBC), blast percentages in PB and bone marrow (BM), French-American-British (FAB) subtypes and the frequencies of common genetic mutations were described. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were constructed for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS), using a limited backward elimination procedure.

Results: Patients with high PANK2 expression had significantly longer event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) than patients with low PANK2 expression (P=0.007, P=0.016, respectively), whereas patients with high PANK4 expression had shorter EFS and OS than patients with low PANK4 expression (P=0.022, P=0.015, respectively). Multivariate analysis confirmed that high PANK4 expression was an independent risk factor for EFS and OS (both P<0.05).

Conclusions: Our study suggested that high PANK2 expression might have favorable effects on AML, while high PANK4 expression was indicative of poor prognosis.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML); heterogeneity; pantothenate kinase (PANK); prognosis.