Wnt signaling activates the canonical pathway and induces the accumulation of non-phosphorylated beta-catenin (NPBC) in the nucleus. Although this pathway plays an important role in the maintenance of haematopoietic stem cells as well as in oncogenesis, the significance of nuclear NPBC remains unclear in malignant haematopoiesis. This study examined the expression of nuclear NPBC in bone marrow specimens from 54 and 44 patients with de novo acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), respectively. On immunohistochemistry with an anti-NPBC antibody, the nuclei were positively stained in 22 and 18 of AML and MDS specimens, respectively. Staining of nuclear NPBC was associated with AML subtypes (M6 and M7), low complete remission (CR) rate, and poor prognosis. Nuclear NPBC was also associated with a high score when using the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) for MDS and with -7/-7q and complex karyotypes. These findings suggest that in situ detection of nuclear NPBC by immunohistochemistry could provide new insights into the pathogenesis and prognosis of AML and MDS.
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