The gene coding for the protein LD78 was isolated from stimulated human tonsillar lymphocytes by differential hybridization. The gene product consisted of 92 amino acids with characteristics of cytokines. LD78 gene transcripts were detected in eight of eight fresh samples of cells from patients with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) by Northern blot analysis. ANLL cells with monocytic features gave the strongest bands. RNA transcripts were found in two of three samples of cells from patients with adult T cell leukemia (ATL), eight of nine samples from patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) of B cell lineage, and one of the three samples from patients with T cell ALL. KG-1, HL-60, HUT 102, MT-2, and MJ cell lines expressed the LD78 gene constitutively. The LD78 protein was detected in culture supernatants and cell lysates of HUT 102, MT-2, MJ, and fresh ATL cells by Western blot analysis. This protein was not found in culture supernatants or cell lysates of monocytic leukemia cells and HL-60 cells, although LD78 transcripts were found in those cells. The discrepancy between gene and protein expression might be explained by the stability of the mRNA. Thus, the protein may be involved in the neoplastic transformation of hematopoietic cells.
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