CD44 Variant Exons in Leukemia and Lymphoma

Elif AKISIK1, Sevil BAVBEK2, Nejat DALAY1

1Department of Basic Oncology, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Clinical Oncology, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey


CD44 is a cell surface glycoprotein expressed on different cell types that functions in lymphocyte activation and homing, extracellular matrix adhesion and cellular migration. CD44 is encoded by a single gene composed of at least 20 exons. The standard CD44 protein (CD44S or CD44H) is the hematopoietic form of CD44 in lymphoid cells. Variant isoforms (designated from v1 to v10) are formed by addition of new exons to the extracellular domain. High levels of CD44v6 expression has been observed in some tumors and are associated with metastatic spread. The aim of the present study was to investigate and evaluate expression of the CD44v6 and v6-containing variants as a possible marker in chronic myeloid leukemia and lymphoma by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. CD44 exon v6 was detected in all patients and all individuals in the control group. CD44v6-v10 mRNA was observed in 25 patients but in none of the subjects in the control group. CD44v6/v9-10, CD44v6-v7, CD44v6/v10 transcripts were detected in 11, 6, and 2 patients, respectively. CD44v6-7/v9-10 transcripts were not observed in either the patients or the healthy individuals. We conclude that CD44v6-v10 expression may be associated with hematologic malignancies. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 8, Nr 1, 36-40, 2002

Key words: CD44; RT-PCR; leukemia; lymphoma

Received: Jan 30, 2002; accepted: Feb 14, 2002
Correspondence: Nejat DALAY, Department of Basic Oncology, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University, Capa Istanbul 34390, Turkey; Tel: 90 2125313100/184, Fax: 90 212 534 80 78; E-mail:

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