Dysregulation of the Notch-pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL). We characterized the mRNA expression of Notch pathway elements in circulating normal B- and B-CLL cells, and compared expression profiles with clinical and prognostic data. Similar expression profiles were found in normal B-cells and B-CLL cells, however, most B-CLL samples showed lower Hairy/Enhancer of Split-1 expression than normal B-cells, which suggests that the pathway is not over-activated in B-CLL. The expression of Notch-pathway genes did not correlate with other prognostic factors of B-CLL. The importance of Notch-signalling in CLL cells in lymphatic tissue microenvironments remains to be determined.
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