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Mol Cell Biol. Nov 1991; 11(11): 5462–5469.
PMCID: PMC361915

Structural characterization of SIL, a gene frequently disrupted in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


The SIL (SCL interrupting locus) gene was initially discovered at the site of a genomic rearrangement in a T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line. This rearrangement, which occurs in a remarkably site-specific fashion, is present in the leukemic cells of 16 to 26% of patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We have now cloned a normal SIL cDNA from a cell line which does not carry the rearrangement. The SIL cDNA has a long open reading frame of 1,287 amino acids, with a predicted molecular size of 143 kDa. The predicted protein is not homologous with any previously described protein; however, a potential eukaryotic topoisomerase I active site was identified. Cross-species hybridization using a SIL cDNA probe indicated that the SIL gene was conserved in mammals. A survey of human and murine cell lines and tissues demonstrated SIL mRNA to be ubiquitously expressed, at low levels, in hematopoietic cell lines and tissues. With the exception of 11.5-day-old mouse embryos, SIL mRNA was not detected in nonhematopoietic tissues. The genomic structure of SIL was also analyzed. The gene consists of 18 exons distributed over 70 kb, with the 5' portion of the gene demonstrating alternate exon utilization.

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