BackgroundCajal body (CB) is a nucleic organelle where small nuclear ribonucleoproteins undergo modification, maturation, splicing and/or assembly. Coilin is the marker structural protein of CBs. The expression level and cellular localization of coilin is sensitive to chemotherapeutic reagents, such as cisplatin. The gene of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27) is located with a high incidence translocation region of leukemic chromosomes, and its expression was of prognosis values in a variety of adult leukemia types. The exact profile and associated functions of coilin, as well as p27, in children’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is obscure.MethodsBone marrow samples from 144 patients with ALL were collected. The expression levels of coilin and p27 were detected by qRT-PCR. The patient cohort was divided into low and high groups of coilin and p27 respectively. The prognosis and clinicobiological characteristics of different groups were investigated, especially focused on the treatment outcome. Leukemia cells of Reh or RS4;11 were exposed to different concentrations of DNR, prior to the detection for morphological changes of coilin by immunofluorescence. In Reh cells, lentivirus sh-coilin was used to silence coilin expression. Western blotting was used to detect coilin and p27 expression; flow cytometry was used for cell cycle and apoptosis assay; MTS method was used for measuring cell viability to examine the drug sensitivity of DNR.ResultsIn this study, we found that daunorubicin was able to induce significant morphological changes of CBs in Reh and RS4;11 cells. Knockdown the expression of coilin increased the sensitivity to daunorubicin and inhibited the expression of p27 in Reh cells, and led to increased apoptosis. Importantly, not only the levels of coilin and p27 mRNA expression at initial diagnosis ALL children are markedly higher than those at complete remission (CR), but also both coilin and p27 expression in the relapsed patients was observed significantly higher comparing to the continuous CR patients. The 4-year EFS and RFS indicated that low levels of both coilin and p27 group favored better prognosis (p < 0.05).ConclusionsOur results indicated that consideration of coilin and p27 levels could be a prognostic reference for predicting the outcome of pediatric ALL patients, especially for disease recurrence. Reduction of coilin expression was sufficient to increase the sensitivity of leukemic cells to daunorubicin treatments, and during which possibly involved functions of p27 in cell cycle regulation and its effects on cell apoptosis.