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Blood. 1992 Mar 1;79(5):1311-8.

Monosomy 7 myeloproliferative disease in children with neurofibromatosis, type 1: epidemiology and molecular analysis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Naval Hospital, Oakland, CA 94627.


Loss of constitutional heterozygosity is a common molecular feature of cancers in which inactivation of one or more tumor suppressor genes is thought to contribute to tumorigenesis. Recent evidence suggests that the gene responsible for neurofibromatosis, type 1 (NF-1), belongs to this class of heritable cancer genes. Children with NF-1 show an increased incidence of myeloid leukemia, including juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML) and, perhaps, the myeloproliferative syndrome (MPS) associated with bone marrow monosomy 7 (Mo 7). We have investigated five children with Mo 7: three with NF-1 and two others with suggestive evidence of NF-1. Southern blotting experiments performed in four patients showed no loss of heterozygosity in bone marrow specimens using probes linked to the NF-1 locus on the long arm of chromosome 17. Both of our patients with familial NF-1 inherited the disease from their mothers, as did 14 of 19 other cases of myeloid leukemia in children with familial NF-1. Seventeen of these 21 children were boys. Myeloid leukemia developed in 12 boys and four girls who inherited NF-1 from their mothers, and in five boys who inherited the disease from their fathers. Father-to-daughter transmission was not observed. Taken together, the presence of chromosome 7 deletions in the leukemias of children with NF-1, a pattern of inheritance favoring maternal transmission of NF-1, and the marked predilection for boys to develop JCML and Mo 7 suggest a multistep mechanism of oncogenesis in which epigenetic factors might play a role. Further investigation is required to determine if the NF-1 genes in the leukemic bone marrows of these patients have acquired point mutations or small deletions.

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