Complex karyotypes are associated with a poor prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Using mFISH, iFISH, and T/C-FISH, we thoroughly characterized 59 CLL patients regarding parameters known to be involved in chromosomal instability: status of the genes ATM and TP53 and telomere length. Interestingly, a deletion of the ATM locus in 11q, independent of the cytogenetic context, was associated with significantly diminished risk (p<0.05) of carrying a mutation in TP53. In patients with loss or mutation of TP53, chromosomal breakage occurred more frequently (p<0.01) in (near-) heterochromatic regions. Median telomere length in patients with complex karyotypes was significantly shorter than that of healthy controls and shorter than in all other cytogenetic cohorts. Furthermore, the median telomere length of patients carrying a TP53 mutation was significantly shorter than without mutation. We conclude that telomere shortening in combination with loss of TP53 induces increased chromosomal instability with preferential involvement of (near-) heterochromatic regions.
Annals of Hematology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 9, 2017
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