Biomarkers and Targets for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Biomarkers and Targets for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that have expression patters potentially useful as biomarkers for determining different stages of CLL. GPCRs are attractive biomarkers and therapeutic targets for disease treatment since they are expressed on the plasma
San Diego, CA, United States
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Background

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a cancer of white blood cells and bone marrow that is characterized by accumulation of B-cells, by uncontrolled proliferation and/or reduced cell death (apoptosis). CLL is typically an adult cancer and more commonly seen in patients over 65. CLL is a heterogeneous disease classified as: aggressive, which requires immediate treatment, or indolent, which is slow-growing and does not require treatment. Current approaches for staging CLL are primarily based on physical examination and blood counts. Improved methods of diagnosis and prognosis of CLL are needed, including biomarkers to stage the disease and predict the clinical course of individual patients.


Technology Description

UC San Diego investigators have identified several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that have expression patters potentially useful as biomarkers for determining different stages of CLL. GPCRs are attractive biomarkers and therapeutic targets for disease treatment since they are expressed on the plasma membrane and are often tissue-specific. The UC San Diego investigators have found, for example, that expression of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide receptor 1 (VIPR1), a Gs-coupled GPCR, increases over 700-fold in aggressive CLL compared to indolent CLL and that VIP induces apoptosis of CLL cells. In addition, expression of the GPCR EDG7 occurs selectively in patients with indolent CLL. 


Applications

Possible commercial applications include a use of the GPCR biomarkers to develop a diagnostic kit to diagnose and stage CLL. These biomarkers are also potentially attractive therapeutic targets along with a companion diagnostic approach.


State Of Development

Proof-of-concept data from human samples by assessing gene expression patterns and functional effects of selectively expressed GPCRs in primary cells from patients with CLL.

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