Coamplification of human acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase genes in blood cells: correlation with various leukemias and abnormal megakaryocytopoiesis.
To study the yet unknown role of the ubiquitous family of cholinesterases (ChoEases) in developing blood cells, the recently isolated cDNAs encoding human acetylcholinesterase (AcChoEase; acetylcholine acetylhydrolase, EC 22.214.171.124) and butyrylcholinesterase (BtChoEase; cholinesterase; acylcholine acylhydrolase, EC 126.96.36.199) were used in blot hybridization with peripheral blood DNA from various leukemic patients. Hybridization signals (10- to 200-fold intensified) and modified restriction patterns were observed with both cDNA probes in 4 of the 16 leukemia DNA preparations examined. These reflected the amplification of the corresponding AcChoEase and BtChoEase genes (ACHE and CHE) and alteration in their structure. Parallel analysis of 30 control samples revealed nonpolymorphic, much weaker hybridization signals for each of the probes. In view of previous reports on the effect of acetylcholine analogs and ChoEase inhibitors in the induction of megakaryocytopoiesis and production of platelets in the mouse, we further searched for such phenomena in nonleukemic patients with platelet production disorders. Amplifications of both ACHE and CHE genes were found in 2 of the 4 patients so far examined. Pronounced coamplification of these two related but distinct genes in correlation with pathological production of blood cells suggests a functional role for members of the ChoEase family in megakaryocytopoiesis and raises the question whether the coamplification of these genes could be causally involved in the etiology of hemocytopoietic disorders.