Consistent B Cell Receptor Immunoglobulin Features Between Siblings in Familial Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

P. Martijn Kolijn, Alice F. Muggen, Viktor Ljungström, Andreas Agathangelidis, Ingrid L.M. Wolvers-Tettero, H. Berna Beverloo, Karol Pál, Paul J. Hengeveld, Nikos Darzentas, Rudi W. Hendriks, Jacques J.M.van Dongen, Richard Rosenquist, Anton W. Langerak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Key processes in the onset and evolution of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are thought to include chronic (antigenic) activation of mature B cells through the B cell receptor (BcR), signals from the microenvironment, and acquisition of genetic alterations. Here we describe three families in which two or more siblings were affected by CLL. We investigated whether there are immunogenetic similarities in the leukemia-specific immunoglobulin heavy (IGH) and light (IGL/IGK) chain gene rearrangements of the siblings in each family. Furthermore, we performed array analysis to study if similarities in CLL-associated chromosomal aberrations are present within each family and screened for somatic mutations using paired tumor/normal whole-genome sequencing (WGS). In two families a consistent IGHV gene mutational status (one IGHV-unmutated, one IGHV-mutated) was observed. Intriguingly, the third family with four affected siblings was characterized by usage of the lambda IGLV3-21 gene, with the hallmark R110 mutation of the recently described clinically aggressive IGLV3-21R110 subset. In this family, the CLL-specific rearrangements in two siblings could be assigned to either stereotyped subset #2 or the immunogenetically related subset #169, both of which belong to the broader IGLV3-21R110 subgroup. Consistent patterns of cytogenetic aberrations were encountered in all three families. Furthermore, the CLL clones carried somatic mutations previously associated with IGHV mutational status, cytogenetic aberrations and stereotyped subsets, respectively. From these findings, we conclude that similarities in immunogenetic characteristics in familial CLL, in combination with genetic aberrations acquired, point towards shared underlying mechanisms behind CLL development within each family.

Original languageEnglish
Article number740083
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The SNP&SEQ Platform is also supported by the Swedish Research Council and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. RR is supported by SciLifeLab, the Swedish Cancer Society, the Swedish Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, and Radiumhemmets Forskningsfonder, Stockholm. PK and AL are supported by a EU TRANSCAN-2/ Dutch Cancer Society grant (179;NOVEL consortium).

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Birna Thorvaldsdottir for academic discussion. Sequencing was performed by the SNP&SEQ Technology Platform in Uppsala. The facility is part of the National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI) Sweden and Science for Life Laboratory.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Kolijn, Muggen, Ljungström, Agathangelidis, Wolvers-Tettero, Beverloo, Pál, Hengeveld, Darzentas, Hendriks, Dongen, Rosenquist and Langerak.


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