The Role of Mesothelin in Pediatric Leukemia


  • Jirair Love-Stroman, Nursing, Delaware State University

Faculty Mentor(s)

  • Sonali Barwe, , N/A Nemours


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the accumulation of immature myeloid cells in the bone marrow due to malignant transformation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

Standard treatment for AML includes cytotoxic chemotherapies and bone marrow transplant with low curative success, while targeted therapies are beginning to be explored.

Mesothelin (MSLN) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored cell surface protein that has very little normal expression in human tissue and is highly expressed in many solid tumors, indicating it as a prime target for targeted cancer therapies. Expression has been confirmed in one-third of pediatric leukemia cases. Although most of the current literature surrounding MSLN discusses its potential and progress in targeted treatment, the function of MSLN is widely unknown and unstudied, however it is thought to aid in proliferation, adhesion, cellular migration, and invasion due to interactions with its only known binding partner MUC-16. MSLN is anticipated to activate several signaling pathways due to interactions with itself or other proteins in lipid raft domains.