By direct analysis of the polypeptide constituents of leukemic cells, we have previously detected several polypeptides that are restricted in their expression to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In this study, we provide evidence that two polypeptides designated L2 and L4 are structurally related and represent novel markers for common ALL. Partial amino acid sequence analysis did not uncover differences between L2 and L4. The sequences obtained correspond to a previously cloned human gene designated hsp 27 that is expressed, following heat shock treatment, in a variety of cells. 32Pi incorporation studies indicate that L4 is an unphosphorylated form and L2 is a phosphorylated form of hsp27. The two forms were inducible by heat shock in leukemic and nonleukemic lymphoid cells. Thus, in acute leukemia, the common ALL subtype is uniquely characterized by the constitutive expression of a polypeptide that represents a major cellular phosphoprotein.
J R Strahler, R Kuick, C Eckerskorn, F Lottspeich, B C Richardson, D A Fox, L M Stoolman, C A Hanson, D Nichols, H J Tueche