The t(8;14)(q24.1;q32), the cytogenetic hallmark of Burkitt’s lymphoma, is also found, but rarely, in cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Such translocation typically results in a MYC-IGH@ fusion subsequently deregulating and overexpressing MYC on der 14q32. In CLL, atypical rearrangements resulting in its gain or loss, within or outside of IGH@ or MYC locus, have been reported, but their clinical significance remains uncertain. Herein, we report a 67 year-old male with complex cytogenetic findings of apparently balanced t(8;14) and unreported complex rearrangements of IGH@ and MYC loci. His clinical, morphological and immunophenotypic features were consistent with the diagnosis of CLL.
Interphase FISH studies revealed deletions of 11q22.3 and 13q14.3, and an extra copy of IGH@, indicative of rearrangement. Karyotype analysis showed an apparently balanced t(8;14)(q24.1;q32). Sequential GPG-metaphase FISH studies revealed abnormal signal patterns: rearrangement of IGH break apart probe with the 5’-IGH@ on derivative 8q24.1 and the 3’-IGH@ retained on der 14q; absence of MYC break apart-specific signal on der 8q; and, the presence of unsplit 5’-MYC-3’ break apart probe signals on der 14q. The breakpoint on 8q24.1 was found to be at least 400 Kb upstream of 5’ of MYC. In addition, FISH studies revealed two abnormal clones; one with 13q14.3 deletion, and the other, with concurrent 11q deletion and atypical rearrangements. Chromosome microarray analysis (CMA) detected a 7.1 Mb deletion on 11q22.3-q23.3 including ATM, a finding consistent with FISH results. While no significant copy number gain or loss observed on chromosomes 8, 12 and 13, a 455 Kb microdeletion of uncertain clinical significance was detected on 14q32.33. Immunohistochemistry showed co-expression of CD19, CD5, and CD23, positive ZAP-70 expression and absence of MYC expression. Overall findings reveal an apparently balanced t(8;14) and atypical complex rearrangements involving 3’-IGH@ and a breakpoint at least 400 Kb upstream of MYC, resulting in the relocation of the intact 5’-MYC-3’ from der 8q, and apposition to 3’-IGH@ at der 14q. This case report provides unique and additional cytogenetic data that may be of clinical significance in such a rare finding in CLL. It also highlights the utility of conventional and sequential metaphase FISH in understanding complex chromosome anomalies and their association with other clinical findings in patients with CLL. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first CLL reported case with such an atypical rearrangement in a patient with a negative MYC expression.
MYC/IGH; FISH; CLL; Microarray
Gene rearrangement analysis using Southern-blot hybridization technique is a standard method for evaluating clonal receptor gene rearrangement. Both clonality and lineage can be identified in lymphoid neoplasms by the demonstration of one or more rearranged antigen receptor genes of the immunoglobulin supergene family-immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes. To evaluate the diagnostic applicability of antigen receptor gene rearrangements in the diagnosis of malignant lymphomas and leukemias, the authors performed a gene rearrangement analysis of 54 cases by southern blot hybridization technique. One or two clonally rearranged bands were detected in the malignant lymphomas and in the lymphoblastic leukemias with a false-negative rate of 13.8%. No clonal, rearranged band was detected in benign reactive hyperplasias, carcinomas or non-lymphocytic leukemias. Rearrangement analysis could resolve the lineage, clonality and stage of differentiation of malignant lymphoid neoplasms.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is predominantly found in children. It is a neoplasm of precursor cells or lymphoblasts committed to either a B- or T-cell lineage. The immature cells in B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma can be small or medium sized with scant or moderate cytoplasm and typically express B-cell markers such as CD19, cytoplasmic CD79a, and TdT without surface light chains. These markers, along with cytogenetic studies, are vital to the diagnosis, classification, and treatment of these neoplasms. We present an unusual case of a precursor B-cell ALL, in an 82-year-old woman, who presented with pancytopenia and widespread lymphadenopathy. The cells show L3 morphology (Burkitt-like lymphoma) with coexpression of TdT and surface light chains in addition to an MYC gene translocation and Philadelphia chromosome.
Rearrangements of oncogenes c-myc and c-abl were detected by non-radioactive hybridisation in a case of Burkitt's lymphoma/leukaemia. The surface phenotype of Burkitt's cells were positive for CD19, CD20, HLA-DR, CD14, CD33 and surface immunoglobulin markers. Although cytogenetic analysis was not performed, the c-myc and heavy immunoglobulin genes had the same 14.2 kilobase EcoRI molecular size fragment, suggesting a possible t(8;14) translocation which is a common marker of this malignancy. The c-abl oncogene was also rearranged in DNA digested BamHI and EcoRI. The physiopathological implications of the rearranged c-abl gene are unknown, this being the first case, as for as is known, of Burkitt's lymphoma/leukaemia with a rearranged c-abl gene.
c-myc is the cellular gene homologous to the transforming sequence of MC29, an acute avian retrovirus. The human c-myc gene was cloned and used to study the structure and expression of c-myc in a variety of human hematopoietic malignancies. In a careful study of 106 patients, c-myc RNA was found to be expressed at elevated levels in tumor cells of 17 leukemia patients and five lymphoma patients. The c-myc gene was found to be rearranged in two lymphomas, an African Burkitt's lymphoma and a non-Hodgkins lymphoma in leukemic phase. The Burkitt's rearrangement involved the insertion of new DNA sequences upstream from the c-myc 5' coding region, presumably replacing the normal c-myc transcriptional promoter. None of the other 104 patients, including 20 with elevated myc expression, exhibited any evidence of a genetic rearrangement involving the c-myc gene. Our results show that there is a subset of hematopoietic malignancies characterized by elevated expression of c-myc. This elevated expression in most cases is not due to obvious genetic changes (rearrangement, amplification) at the c-myc locus nor to chromosomal translocations in the vicinity of this gene.
Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (AIDS-NHL), with predilection for the mucosa of oral cavity. It usually has a plasmablastic morphology, expressing plasma cell-associated antigens with weak or absent expression of B-cell-associated markers. To further define the immunophenotypic and molecular genetics of these tumors, we investigated two cases of plasmablastic lymphomas of the head and neck for c-myc gene rearrangement and immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgVH) hypermutation status. For the first time we report a case of AIDS-related PBL that, by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), shows a c-myc gene rearrangement. Although current literature suggests that most cases of c-myc gene rearranged AIDS-NHL are Burkitt’s lymphoma, our case has an immunophenotype characteristic for PBL. In this case, IgVH hypermutation analysis showed a somatic hypermutation, indicative of germinal center transit. The concurrent B-cell immunophenotype of BCL-6−/CD138+/MUM-1+ also suggests a post-germinal center B-cell origin of this lymphoma. The immunophenotype of our second case (BCL-6−/CD138+/MUM-1+) also suggests a post-germinal center B-cell origin. However, IgVH hypermutation analysis was not possible in this case.
Plasmablastic lymphoma; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; c-myc gene rearrangement; Immunoglobulin variable heavy chain hypermutation status
Hypereosinophilia, either clonal or reactive, has been described in association with multiple hematological malignancies. We describe a case of a patient presenting with hypereosinophilia that evolved into T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Complete remission was achieved with chemotherapy; however, hypereosinophilia recurred 5 months later in association with myeloblastic bone marrow infiltration and without evidence of lymphoblastic lymphoma relapse. Cytogenetic analysis of the bone marrow showed a complex translocation involving chromosomes 7, 12, and 16. A rearrangement of ETV6 gene (12p13) was demonstrated by FISH studies, thus confirming the clonality of this population. The association of lymphoblastic lymphoma, eosinophilia, and myeloid hyperplasia has been described in disorders with FGFR1 rearrangements. We hypothesize that other clonal eosinophilic disorders lacking this rearrangement could behave in a similar fashion through different pathogenic mechanisms.
The most common recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities in T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia [T-ALL]) involve T-cell receptor (TCR) loci and a variety of partner genes, including HOX11, HOX11L2, MYC, and TAL1. In this report, we present a rare case involving simultaneous translocation of the TCR α/δ loci with different partner loci (Xq22 and 12p13); this resulted in a poor prognosis. Chromosomal analysis showed 46,Y,t(X;14)(q22;q11.2),t(12;14)(p13;q11.2) and FISH analysis by using a T-cell receptor alpha delta DNA probe, Split Signal (DakoCytomation, Denmark), showed translocations at the same TCR α/δ locus on both chromosomes. FISH with 2 bacterial artificial chromosome clones showed break apart signal, which suggests involvement of the IRS4 gene. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T-ALL in which both TCR α/δ loci were translocated with different partner loci, and 1 of the partner loci, Xq22, was a rare translocation partner locus that included IRS4 gene.
T-lymphoblastic leukemia; Simultaneous translocation of TCR loci; IRS4 gene
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with an ability to transform into a more aggressive disease, albeit infrequently to B-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. While t(14;18)(q32;q21) has been associated with approximately 90% cases of FL, that alteration alone is insufficient to cause FL and associated mutations are still being elucidated. The transformation of FL to B-lymphoblastic leukemia generally includes the dysregulation of MYC gene expression, typically through IGH rearrangement. Such cases of “double-hit” leukemia/lymphoma with both BCL2 and MYC translocations warrant further study as they are often not identified early, are associated with a poor prognosis, and are incompletely understood in molecular terms. Here we describe a patient with a diagnosis of FL that transformed to B-lymphoblastic leukemia. Detailed cytogenetic characterization of the transformed specimen using karyotype, fluorescence in situ hybridization, microarray and gene rearrangement analyses revealed a complex karyotype comprised principally of whole chromosome or whole arm copy number gains or losses. Smaller, single-gene copy number alterations identified by microarray were limited in number, but included amplification of a truncated EP300 gene and alterations in NEIL1 and GPHN. Analyses defined the presence of an IGH/BCL2 fusion due to a translocation as well as a MYC/IGH fusion due to an insertion, with both rearrangements involving the same IGH allele. The data illustrate the value in characterizing double-hit lymphoma cases with both traditional and novel technologies in the detailed cytogenetic workup.
Follicular lymphoma; Transformation; B-Lymphoblastic leukemia; Translocation; Microarray
A highly malignant human T-cell receptor (TCR) gamma/delta+ T-cell leukemia was shown to have a productive rearrangement of the TCR delta locus on one chromosome 14 and a novel t(8;14)(q24;q11) rearrangement involving the J delta 1 gene segment on the other chromosome 14. Chromosome walking coupled with pulsed-field gel electrophoretic (PFGE) analysis determined that the TCR J delta 1 gene fragment of the involved chromosome was relocated approximately 280 kb downstream of the c-myc proto-oncogene locus found on chromosome band 8q24. This rearrangement was reminiscent of the Burkitt's lymphoma variants that translocate to a region identified as the pvt-1 locus. Sequence comparison of the breakpoint junctions of interchromosomal rearrangements in T-cell leukemias involving the TCR delta-chain locus revealed novel signal-like sequence motifs, GCAGA(A/T)C and CCCA(C/G)GAC. These sequences were found on chromosome 8 at the 5' flanking site of the breakpoint junction of chromosome 8 in the TCR gamma/delta leukemic cells reported here and also on chromosome 1 in T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia patients carrying the t(1;14)(p32;q11) rearrangement. These results suggest that (i) during early stages of gamma delta T-cell ontogeny, the region 280 kb 3' of the c-myc proto-oncogene on chromosome 8 is fragile and accessible to the lymphoid recombination machinery and (ii) rearrangements to both 8q24 and 1p32 may be governed by novel sequence motifs and be subject to common enzymatic mechanisms.
The 8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome (EMS), also called stem cell leukemia/lymphoma (SCLL), is a relatively rare condition characterized in its typical form by the occurrence, either simultaneously or sequentially, of a bcr/abl-negative myeloproliferative disorder and a lymphoma, usually a precursor T lymphoblastic lymphoma. The disease most often terminates in acute myeloid leukemia which is resistant to conventional chemotherapy. The defining cytogenetic abnormality, a translocation at the 8p11 locus, always involves the fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGFR1) gene. To date, eight partner genes have been identified in association with FGFR1 rearrangements. The most frequent FGFR1 translocation partner is the zinc finger gene ZNF198 located at 13q11. The t(8;13)(p11;q11) disrupts intron 8 of the FGFR1 gene and fuses proline-rich and zinc finger domains of the ZNF198 gene with the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domain of FGFR1. Oligomerization of the fusion protein occurs, with subsequent activation of downstream signal transduction pathways, culminating in neoplastic cell transformation. This review describes the historical development of the EMS/SCLL and outlines its cytogenetic abnormalities and molecular mechanisms with an illustrative case.
8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome; stem cell leukemia/lymphoma; FGFR1
Myc is a well known driver of lymphomagenesis, and Myc-activating chromosomal translocation is the recognized hallmark of Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We developed a model that mimics this translocation event by inserting a mouse Myc cDNA gene into the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus, just upstream of the intronic Eμ enhancer. These mice, designated iMycEμ, readily develop B-cell lymphoma. To study the mechanism of Myc-induced lymphoma, we analyzed signaling pathways in lymphoblastic B-cell lymphomas (LBLs) from iMycEμ mice, and an LBL-derived cell line, iMycEμ-1.
Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were constitutively activated in iMycEμ mice, not only in LBLs but also in the splenic B-lymphocytes of young animals months before tumors developed. Moreover, inhibition of either transcription factor in iMycEμ-1 cells suppressed growth and caused apoptosis, and the abrogation of NF-κB activity reduced DNA binding by both STAT3 and Myc, as well as Myc expression. Inhibition of STAT3 signaling eliminated the activity of both NF-κB and Myc, and resulted in a corresponding decrease in the level of Myc. Thus, in iMycEμ-1 cells NF-κB and STAT3 are co-dependent and can both regulate Myc. Consistent with this, NF-κB and phosphorylated STAT3 were physically associated with one another. In addition, LBLs and iMycEμ-1 cells also showed constitutive AKT phosphorylation. Blocking AKT activation by inhibiting PI3K reduced iMycEμ-1 cell proliferation and caused apoptosis, via downregulation of NF-κB and STAT3 activity and a reduction of Myc levels. Co-treatment with NF-κB, STAT3 or/and PI3K inhibitors led to additive inhibition of iMycEμ-1 cell proliferation, suggesting that these signaling pathways converge.
Our findings support the notion that constitutive activation of NF-κB and STAT3 depends on upstream signaling through PI3K, and that this activation is important for cell survival and proliferation, as well as for maintaining the level of Myc. Together, these data implicate crosstalk among NF-κB, STAT3 and PI3K in the development of iMycEμ B-cell lymphomas.
We report a case of untreated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with histologic progression over 1 yr from a low-grade, small cleaved follicular center cell lymphoma to a high-grade, small noncleaved follicular center cell lymphoma. Both lymphomas had identical immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain joining gene (JH), kappa light-chain joining gene, and bcl-2 gene rearrangements, indicating the clonal identity of the two tumors. The Ig heavy chain locus on one chromosome 14 was involved in an initial t(14; 18) translocation as shown by comigrating JH and bcl-2 rearrangements. However, the oncogene c-myc was in the germline configuration in the initial lymphoma but had one allele rearranged near the 3' end of exon I in the high-grade tumor; DNA sequence analysis was consistent with a chromosomal breakpoint at that site. The presence of the c-myc rearrangement in the high-grade tumor suggest a role for c-myc in the clonal evolution of the low-grade tumor into a more aggressive lymphoma. The coexistence of both bcl-2 gene and c-myc oncogene rearrangements in the same tumor is unusual, with only a few cases reported. Furthermore, this case is unique in the direct demonstration of the histologic and clinical progression of a human lymphoma associated with the sequential rearrangement of the bcl-2 gene and the c-myc oncogene.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is generally regarded as a clonal disease in which a single abnormal progenitor cell gives rise to neoplastic progeny. Five of 463 cases of childhood ALL with adequately banded leukemic cells were found to have two cytogenetically independent cell populations. In addition, two of the four cases tested had more than two rearranged immunoglobulin genes and (or) T cell receptor genes. To investigate the clonality of these unusual leukemias, we examined the neoplastic cells for X-linked markers extrinsic to the disease. Leukemic cells from each of the three patients heterozygous for an X-linked, restriction fragment length polymorphism showed a single active parental allele, suggesting that both apparently independent cell populations developed from a common progenitor. These cases provide evidence that leukemogenesis involves a multistep process of mutation and suggest that karyotypic abnormalities may be a late event of malignant transformation.
Mature B-cell lymphomas with both BCL2 and MYC translocations are known as “double hit” lymphomas. These lymphomas are aggressive and show high proliferation rate due to the growth advantages provided by MYC and BCL2 translocation and overexpression. Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a neoplasm of mature B-lymphocytes with characteristic t(11;14) and subsequent Cyclin D1 overexpression. Secondary cytogenetic changes are frequent in MCL, but MYC translocation has only been rarely reported. In this study, we report four cases of MCL with MYC translocation or MYC gene amplification detected by conventional cytogenetics, fluorescence in situ hybridization and whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, and determined the clinicopathologic features. Our study provides further evidence supporting the concept of “double hit” MCL with co-involvement of MYC gene rearrangement and/or amplification and CCND1 gene rearrangement.
Mantle cell lymphoma; double hit lymphoma; MYC; 8q24; translocation; amplification
The coexistence of CCND1/IGH and MYC rearrangements in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare finding associated with a very poor prognosis. In this study, a patient with blastoid variant (MCL) is reported. The disease was clinically aggressive and refractory to chemotherapy, and the patient only survived for 1 month following diagnosis. Conventional cytogenetic study, FISH, and multicolor FISH (mFISH) demonstrated the involvement of the BCL1/CCND1 locus in a complex translocation, t(3;11)(q25;p15)t(11;14)(q13;q32). In addition, subclonal abnormalities in the 8q24 region, manifested as a t(8;14)(q24;q32)/MYC rearrangement, were identified. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first MCL case in Korea bearing these complex genomic aberrations.
Mantle cell lymphoma; CCND1; MYC
B-cell lymphomas with concurrent IGH-BCL2 and MYC rearrangements, also known as “double-hit” lymphomas (DHL), are rare neoplasms characterized by highly aggressive clinical behavior, complex karyotypes, and a spectrum of pathological features overlapping with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and B-lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia (B-LBL). The clinical and pathological spectrum of this rare entity, including comparison to other high-grade B-cell neoplasms, has not been well defined. We conducted a retrospective analysis of clinical and pathologic features of 20 cases of DHL seen at our institution during a 5-year period. In addition, we performed case-control comparisons of DHL with BL and International Prognostic Index (IPI)-matched DLBCL. The 11 men and 9 women had a median age of 63.5 years (range 32-91). Six patients had a history of grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma (FL); review of the prior biopsy specimens in 2 of 5 cases revealed blastoid morphology. Eighteen patients had Ann Arbor stage 3 or 4 disease and all had elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels at presentation. Extranodal disease was present in 17/20 (85%), bone marrow involvement in 10/17 (59%) and central nervous system (CNS) disease in 5/11 (45%). Nineteen patients were treated with combination chemotherapy, of whom 18 received rituximab and 14 received CNS-directed therapy. Fourteen patients (70%) died within 8 months of diagnosis. Median overall survival in the DHL group (4.5 months) was inferior to both BL (p=0.002) and IPI-matched DLBCL (p=0.04) control patients. Twelve DHL cases (60%) were classified as B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between DLBCL and BL, 7 cases (35%) as DLBCL, not otherwise specified, and 1 case as B-LBL. Distinguishing features from BL included expression of Bcl2 (p<0.0001), Mum1/IRF4 (p=0.006), Ki-67 <95% (p<0.0001), and absence of EBV-EBER (p=0.006). DHL commonly contained the t(8;22) rather than the t(8;14) seen in most BL controls (p=0.001), and exhibited a higher number of chromosomal aberrations (p=0.0009). DHL is a high-grade B-cell neoplasm with a poor prognosis, resistance to multi-agent chemotherapy, and clinical and pathological features distinct from other high-grade B-cell neoplasms. Familiarity with the morphologic and immunophenotypic spectrum of DHL is important in directing testing to detect concurrent IGH-BCL2 and MYC rearrangements when a karyotype is unavailable. The aggressive clinical behavior and combination of genetic abnormalities seen in these cases may warrant categorization as a separate entity in future classifications and call for novel therapeutic approaches.
MYC; BCL2; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Burkitt lymphoma; cytogenetics; high-grade B-cell lymphoma
Although follicle center cell (FCC) lymphomas represent mature B cells, a considerable percentage do not have detectable Ig production. We have used Southern blotting and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to study the involvement of translocations t(14;18) and t(8;14) in causing defective Ig production in 16 Ig- FCC-derived lymphomas and three Ig- B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias. In 6 of 19 cases, a t(14;18) was present with the other allele either deleted or in germline. In two cases a t(14;18) and a t(8;14) affected both Ig alleles, as confirmed by karyotyping. In two other cases, rearrangement of both bcl-2 on chromosome 18 and c-myc on chromosome 8 were found as well. Although cytogenetic proof was not available, the latter was probably involved in t(8;14). Restriction map analysis of one more case showed rearrangement on the pseudo-JH3 gene on one allele and t(14;18) on the other. Thus, in 11 of 19 cases, defective Ig H chain production could be explained by the inactivation of both Ig H chain genes due to translocation of one allele, in combination with deletions or defective rearrangements of the other allele. In contrast, in 28 of 30 Ig+ lymphomas, one functional Ig H chain allele was found, either in, or not in, combination with t(14;18). In two cases a single rearranged Ig H chain allele was found in combination with rearrangement of bcl-2. No comigration of the single Ig rearrangement with bcl-2, however, was found both by Southern blotting and PCR, suggesting a variant bcl-2 translocation, which leaves the Ig H chain allele functionally intact.
Southern blot analyses revealed that cells from nearly 30% of childhood B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) contained more than two rearranged, nongermline bands for Ig heavy chain genes. DNA corresponding to these bands was molecularly cloned from two cases which showed three and seven rearranged bands, respectively. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the cloned DNA demonstrated that each band represented different VDJ or DJ rearrangements. While the same DJ joints were shared by several rearrangements, different DJ joints were found in the majority of rearrangements, precluding V region substitution as an explanation for the multiplicity of heavy chain rearrangements in these leukemias. Most of the V region segments involved in these rearrangements were restricted to VH region families that have been shown previously to be preferentially rearranged in human fetal B lineage cells. Sequence analysis of multiple copies of the same VDJ rearrangements from different cells revealed no somatic mutation, a mechanism responsible for detection of extra rearranged Ig DNA bands in certain other B lineage tumors. The data suggest that in some cases of ALL Ig heavy chain genes begin and continue to rearrange de novo within the neoplastic B cell precursor populations derived from an original malignant cell transformed at a stem cell stage of differentiation.
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disease. A small subset of DLBCLs has translocations involving the MYC locus and an additional group has a molecular signature resembling Burkitt lymphoma (mBL). Presently, identification of such cases by morphology is unreliable and relies on cytogenetic or complex molecular methods such as gene transcriptional profiling. Herein, we describe an immunohistochemical (IHC) method for identifying DLBCLs with increased MYC protein expression. We tested 77 cases of DLBCL and identified 15 cases with high MYC protein expression (nuclear staining in >50% of tumor cells). All MYC translocation positive cases had increased MYC protein expression by this IHC assay. In addition, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of the DLBCL transcriptional profiles revealed that tumors with increased MYC protein expression (regardless of underlying MYC translocation status) had coordinate upregulation of MYC target genes, providing molecular confirmation of the IHC results. We then generated a molecular classifier derived from the MYC IHC results in our cases and employed it to successfully classify mBLs from two previously reported independent case series, providing additional confirmation that the MYC IHC results identify clinically important subsets of DLBCLs. Lastly, we found that DLBCLs with high MYC protein expression had inferior overall survival when treated with R-CHOP. In conclusion, the IHC method described herein can be used to readily identify the biologically and clinically distinct cases of MYC-driven DLBCL, which represent a clinically significant subset of DLBCL cases due to their inferior overall survival.
An in vitro culture of FLEB14 cells, an Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cell precursor containing the germ line immunoglobulin genes, gave rise to a uniclonally expanded variant, FLEB14 delta 3, which was rearranged at the immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene locus. Cytogenetic analysis showed that FLEB14 delta 3 had a novel reciprocal translocation, t(6;14)(q15;q32). Molecular cloning of the rearranged DNA fragments and determination of their nucleotide sequence revealed that the recombination event was reciprocal, imprecise, and nonhomologous and took place in the S mu region, like those found in Burkitt's lymphoma cells. We propose a molecular model to explain this genetic event which may be relevant to class switch recombination. The translocated sequence of chromosome 6 did not contain any known oncogenes, although the sequence is conserved among mammals. FLEB14 delta 3 did not show tumorigenicity.
AIMS: To determine the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based minimal residual disease (MRD) detection of leukaemia specific DNA in testicular relapse in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. METHODS: DNA was obtained from archival testicular and bone marrow samples from boys with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who relapsed in the testes. Overlapping DJH clone specific primers derived from clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene rearrangement in each case were used to analyse testicular or bone marrow DNA. RESULTS: Histologically normal end of treatment testicular biopsies in the five patients in longterm remission were all MRD negative, but MRD positive in three of six boys with subsequent testicular relapse. Histologically normal bone marrow samples taken at the end of treatment were MRD negative in five of seven cases, but MRD positive in all cases at the time of isolated testicular relapse. Three boys with unilateral testicular relapse underwent unilateral orchidectomy, rather than bilateral testicular irradiation, as part of their treatment. Two of these boys were MRD positive in the histologically uninvolved testes, and both had subsequent relapses either in the testes or the bone marrow, while the MRD negative patient has not had a testicular relapse. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of MRD in testicular tissue can be assayed with a PCR based method to detect clone specific antigen receptor gene rearrangements. In this setting, PCR is more sensitive than conventional testicular histology for predicting clinical outcomes. MRD assays might be useful in the management of boys at the time of isolated testicular relapse, to confirm the presence of unilateral testicular disease.
Reciprocal translocations involving the immunoglobulin loci and the cellular oncogene MYC are hallmark mutations of the human postgerminal center B cell neoplasm, Burkitt’s lymphoma. They are occasionally found in other B cell lymphomas, as well. Translocations involving the heavy chain locus (IGH) place the MYC gene either in cis with both the intronic enhancer Eµ and the IGH 3′ regulatory region (3′RR) or in cis with only the 3′RR. The result is deregulated MYC expression. Recent studies have led to some controversy as to when, during B lymphocyte development, IGH/MYC chromosome translocations take place. A related issue, relevant not only to lymphoma development but also to normal controls on IGH gene expression, is the stage, during B lymphocyte development, at which the 3′RR is capable of activating MYC expression. We have developed mice transgenic for a human MYC (hMYC) gene under control of the four core enhancers from the mouse Igh 3′RR. Unlike other transgenic mouse models where premature and inappropriate MYC expression disrupts normal B cell development, the hMYC transgene in these studies carries a mutation that prohibits MYC protein synthesis. As a result, hMYC expression can be analyzed in all of the normal B cell compartments. Our data show that hMYC is expressed almost exclusively in B-lineage cells and is induced to high levels as soon as bone marrow cells reach the immature B cell stage.
One of the best analyzed tumor-specific cytogenetic abnormalities is the t(8;14) chromosomal translocation observed in cases of Burkitt's and undifferentiated lymphomas (ULs), and acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs). Here we analyze the cloned (8;14) chromosomal breakpoint of the UL cell line EW 36. We show that the region of chromosome 8 involved in the translocation is situated near a site previously demonstrated to harbor a cluster of endemic Burkitt's lymphoma breakpoints, approximately 50 kb 5' of MYC. In those cases, we demonstrated that malfunction of the V-D-J recombinase generated the translocations. However, in this case the isotype switch mechanism of translocation is implicated: at the breakpoint, S mu/S gamma and C gamma sequences are found on chromosome 14. Thus, the features of the EW 36 t(8;14) breakpoint are consonant with our model for B-cell lymphomagenesis which relates the precursor cell that gives rise to malignancy, the mechanism of translocation, and the phenotype of the tumor.
Normal and aberrant immune receptor gene assembly each produce site-specific DNA rearrangements in leukemic lymphoblasts. In either case, these rearrangements provide useful clonal markers for the leukemias in question. In the t(1;14)(p34;q11) translocation associated with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), the breakpoints on chromosome 1 interrupt the tal-1 gene. A site-specific deletion interrupts the same gene in an additional 26% of T-ALL. Thus, nearly one-third of these leukemias contain clustered rearrangements of the tal-1 locus. To test whether these rearrangements can serve as markers for residual disease, we monitored four patients with T-ALL; three of the leukemias contained a deleted (tald) and one a translocated (talt) tal-1 allele. These alleles were recognized by a sensitive amplification/hybridization assay. tald alleles were found in the blood of one patient during the 4th mo of treatment but not thereafter. Using a quantitative assay to measure the fraction of tald alleles in DNA extracts, we estimated that this month 4 sample contained 150 tald copies per 10(6) genome copies. The patient with t(1;14)(p34;q11) (talt) leukemia developed a positive assay during the 20th mo of treatment. By standard criteria, all four patients remain in complete remission 11-20 mo into treatment. We conclude that tal-1 rearrangements provide useful clonal markers for approximately 30% of T-ALLs.