β-Glucuronidase is an optimal normalization control gene for molecular monitoring of chronic myelogenous leukemia
Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
Quantitative monitoring of breakpoint cluster region (BCR)-Abelson kinase (ABL) transcripts has become indispensable in the clinical care of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Because quantity and quality of RNA in clinical samples are highly variable, a suitable internal normalization control is required for accurate BCR-ABL quantification. However, few studies have examined suitability of the control genes using criteria relevant to residual disease testing. In this study, we evaluated a number of control genes with the application of several novel criteria, including control gene performance on serial patient sample testing and in a residual disease model. We also examined expression of the control genes in BCR-ABL-positive K562 cells in response to Gleevec treatment. We found that beta-glucuronidase is the best control gene among those studied. Importantly, ABL, a widely used control gene, generates misleading BCR-ABL changes that potentially affect the clinical management of chronic myelogenous leukemia patients.