BMB Rep. 2015; 48(8): 427-428  
Stem cell niche as a prognostic factor in leukemia
Ga-Young Lee, Jin-A Kim & Il-Hoan Oh*
The Catholic High-Performance Cell Therapy Center & Department of Medical Lifescience, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
Correspondence to: E-mail:
Received: July 19, 2015; Published online: August 31, 2015.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Despite high interests on microenvironmental regulation of leukemic cells, little is known for bone marrow (BM) niche in leukemia patients. Our recent study on BMs of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients showed that the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are altered during leukemic conditions in a clinical course-dependent manner. Leukemic blasts caused reprogramming of transcriptomes in MSCs and remodeling of niche cross-talk, selectively suppressing normal primitive hematopoietic cells while supporting leukemogenesis and chemo- resistance. Notably, differences in BM stromal remodeling were correlated to heterogeneity in subsequent clinical courses of AML, i.e., low numbers of mesenchymal progenitors at initial diagnosis were correlated to complete remission for 5-8 years, and high contents of mesenchymal progenitor or MSCs correlated to early or late relapse, respectively. Thus, stromal remodeling by leukemic cell is an intrinsic part of leukemogenesis that can contribute to the clonal dominance of leukemic cells over normal hematopoietic cells, and can serve as a biomarker for prediction of prognosis.
Keywords: Niche, Leukemia, Prognostic factor, Biomarker

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