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We determined lymphoid enhancer-binding factor-1 (LEF1) mRNA expression in 112 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) samples and assessed correlations with the prognostic markers ZAP70 and CD38, Binet stages, the percentage of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, and fibromodulin (FMOD) transcripts. The mean LEF1 relative expression ratios (RER) were 53.72 and 37.10 in ZAP70-positive and ZAP70-negative patients, respectively (P=0.004). However, we did not observe a significant difference in LEF1 expression between CD38-positive and CD38-negative patients. Moreover, patients requiring treatment showed a mean LEF1 RER of 85.61 whereas patients in recently diagnosed Binet A stage had a mean of only 22.01(P less than 0.001). We also found significant correlations of LEF1 with the percentage of lymphocytes and FMOD expression. Our results suggest that high LEF1 expression is associated with poor prognosis and disease progression. Thus, LEF1 might be involved in the process of disease progression and possibly can serve as a molecular parameter for risk assessment and/or monitoring of CLL.
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