Frontiers in Oncology | VOL. 12

A distinct subpopulation of leukemia initiating cells in acute precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia: quiescent phenotype and unique transcriptomic profile

Publication Date Sep 21, 2022


In leukemia, a distinct subpopulation of cancer-initiating cells called leukemia stem cells (LSCs) is believed to drive population expansion and tumor growth. Failing to eliminate LSCs may result in disease relapse regardless of the amount of non-LSCs destroyed. The first step in targeting and eliminating LSCs is to identify and characterize them. Acute precursor B lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cells derived from patients were incubated with fluorescent glucose analog 2-(N-(7-Nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazol-4-yl) Amino)-2-Deoxyglucose (NBDG) and sorted based on NBDG uptake. Cell subpopulations defined by glucose uptake were then serially transplanted into mice and evaluated for leukemia initiating capacity. Gene expression profiles of these cells were characterized using RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq). A distinct population of NBDG-low cells was identified in patient B-ALL samples. These cells are a small population (1.92% of the entire leukemia population), have lower HLA expression, and are smaller in size (4.0 to 7.0 μm) than the rest of the leukemia population. All mice transplanted with NBDG-low cells developed leukemia between 5 and 14 weeks, while those transplanted with NBDG-high cells did not develop leukemia (p ≤ 0.0001-0.002). Serial transplantation of the NBDG-low mouse model resulted in successful leukemia development. NBDG-medium (NBDG-med) populations also developed leukemia. Interestingly, comprehensive molecular characterization of NBDG-low and NBDG-med cells from patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models using RNA-Seq...


Leukemia Stem Cells Unique Subpopulation Of Cells Fluorescent Glucose Analog Low Glucose Uptake Differentially-expressed Transcripts Patient-derived Xenograft Serial Transplantation Distinct Subpopulation Of Cells Subpopulation Of Cells Gene Expression Profiles

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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