Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a B-cell malignancy with a mature phenotype. In spite of its relatively indolent nature, no radical cure is as yet available. CLL is not associated with either a unique cytogenetic or a molecular defect, which might have been a potential therapeutic target. Instead, several factors are involved in disease development, such as environmental signals which interact with genetic abnormalities to promote survival, proliferation and an immune surveillance escape. Among these, PI3-Kinase signal pathway alterations are nowadays considered to be clearly important. The TCL1 gene, an AKT co-activator, is the cause of a mature T-cell leukemia, as well as being highly expressed in all B-CLL. A TCL1 transgenic mouse which reproduces leukemia with a distinct immunophenotype and similar to the course of the human B-CLL was developed several years ago and is widely used by many groups. This is a review of the CLL biology arising from work of many independent investigators who have used TCL1 transgenic mouse model focusing on pathogenetic, microenviroment and therapeutic targets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience