RUNX1 and RUNX3 Genes Expression Level in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-A Case Control Study

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2022 Aug 1;44(8):3455-3464. doi: 10.3390/cimb44080238.


The genetic factors of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) development are only partially understood. The Runt-Related Transcription Factor (RUNX) gene family play a crucial role in hematological malignancies, serving both a tumor suppressor and promoter function. The aim of this study was the assessment of relative RUNX1 and RUNX3 genes expression level among adult ALL cases and a geographically and ethnically matched control group. The relative RUNX1 and RUNX3 genes expression level was assessed by qPCR. The investigated group comprised 60 adult patients newly diagnosed with ALL. The obtained results were compared with a group of 40 healthy individuals, as well as clinical and hematological parameters of patients, and submitted for statistical analysis. ALL patients tend to have significantly higher RUNX1 gene expression level compared with controls. This observation is also true for risk group stratification where high-risk (HR) patients presented higher levels of RUNX1. A higher RUNX1 transcript level correlates with greater leukocytosis while RUNX3 expression is reduced in Philadelphia chromosome bearers. The conducted study sustains the hypothesis that both a reduction and increase in the transcript level of RUNX family genes may be involved in leukemia pathogenesis, although their interaction is complex. In this context, overexpression of the RUNX1 gene in adult ALL cases in particular seems interesting. Obtained results should be interpreted with caution. Further analysis in this research field is needed.

Keywords: ALL; RUNX family genes; adult leukemia; gene expression level; qPCR.