Human pluripotent stem cells identify molecular targets of trisomy 12 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients

Jennifer C. Reid, Diana Golubeva, Allison L. Boyd, Cameron G. Hollands, Charisa Henly, Luca Orlando, Andrew Leber, Josée Hébert, Fortunato Morabito, Giovanna Cutrona, Luca Agnelli, Massimo Gentile, Manlio Ferrarini, Antonino Neri, Brian Leber, Mickie Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identifying precise targets of individual cancers remains challenging. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) represents the most common adult hematologic malignancy, and trisomy 12 (tri12) represents a quarter of CLL patients. We report that tri12 human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) allow for the identification of gene networks and targets specific to tri12, which are controlled by comparative normal PSCs. Identified targets are upregulated in tri12 leukemic cells from a cohort of 159 patients with monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis and CLL. tri12 signaling patterns significantly influence progression-free survival. Actionable targets are identified using high-content drug testing and functionally validated in an additional 44 CLL patient samples. Using xenograft models, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) inhibitor is potent and selective against human tri12 CLL versus healthy patient-derived xenografts. Our study uses hPSCs to uncover targets from genetic aberrations and apply them to cancer. These findings provide immediate translational potential as biomarkers and targets for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108845
JournalCell Reports
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 16 2021


  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • cytogenetics
  • endothelin receptor
  • human pluripotent cells
  • IRAK4
  • machine learning
  • molecular therapy
  • patient-derived xenograft
  • preleukemia
  • targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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