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Vojnosanitetski pregled 2004 Volume 61, Issue 1, Pages: 41-46
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Expression of Bcl-2-family proteins in peripheral blood B-lymphocytes in patients with cronic lymphocytic leukemia

Brajušković Goran R., Vukosavić Slobodanka N., Dimitrijević Jovan, Cerović Snežana J., Ušaj-Knežević Slavica, Marjanović Slobodan A., Romac Stanka P., Milić-Škaro Anđelija

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a neoplastic disease characterized by the accumulation of morphologically mature monoclonal CD 5+ B cells in the early phase (G0/G1) of the cell cycle. It is considered that the accumulation of neoplastically transformed lymphocytes B (CLL cells) is primarily the consequence of the disturbance, i.e., blockade of these cells' apoptosis process. Apoptosis is the specific process of programmed cell death regulated by numerous extracellular and intracellular mechanisms. The Bcl-2 proteins are well-known modulators of this process. Some of these proteins (such as Bcl-2, and Bcl-Xl) are anti-apoptotic, while others (such as Bad or Bax) are pro-apoptotic. Our study included the analysis of 20 peripheral blood specimens from 20 patients with CLL, and 20 peripheral blood specimens of healthy persons who represented the control group. Using Western blotting analysis, we quantitatively examined the protein expression of Bcl-2 family (Bcl-2, Bax, Bad, and Bcl-Xl). The level of Bcl-2 (p=3,68´10-10), Bax (p=0,019), and Bad (p=0,073) proteins expression was significantly increased in all the analyzed peripheral blood samples of patients, while the level of Bcl-Xl protein (p=0,75) did not significantly differ in peripheral blood samples of patients, compared to the controls. The results of this study showed that the increased level of expression of Bcl-2, Bax, and Bad protein represented the most striking feature of CLL cells. Moreover, the variations in the expression of only one protein of the Bcl-2 family could not represent the prognostic parameter in the treatment of this disease.

Keywords: leukemia, lymphocytic, chronic, apoptosis, proto-oncogene proteins c-Bcl-2

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