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Mod Pathol. 2006 Nov;19(11):1512-8. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Gains of COL1A1-PDGFB genomic copies occur in fibrosarcomatous transformation of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a superficial low-grade sarcoma that rarely evolves into a high-grade fibrosarcoma. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is genetically characterized by the unbalanced chromosomal t(17;22)(q21;q13), usually in the form of a supernumerary ring chromosome. The product of this chromosomal translocation is the chimeric gene COL1A1-PDGFB (collagen type I alpha I-platelet-derived growth factor beta), which is amplified at low levels in the ring chromosome. The aims of this study were to evaluate (1) whether genomic gains of this fusion gene occur during the clonal evolution of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans into fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and (2) whether there is a difference between the number of genomic copies of COL1A1-PDGFB between classic dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans areas associated with fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Eleven cases of fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans with both dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and fibrosarcomatous areas and 10 cases of classic dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans were studied. Genomic copies of COL1A1-PDGFB were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization using a custom designed probe for the PDGFB locus on 4 mum thick paraffin-embedded tissue sections. Genomic gains of the COL1A1-PDGFB gene were observed in six (of 10) fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans in the fibrosarcomatous areas when compared to the dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans areas of the same tumor (2-7 gene copies (median PDGFB copy gain, 2.8) versus 1-3 gene copies (median PDGFB copy gain, 1.7), respectively, P=0.004). Four fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans did not show genomic gains of COL1A1-PDGFB fusion gene between the two areas. Essentially no difference in the copy number of COL1A1-PDGFB fusion gene was observed between dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans areas of classic dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans areas of fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (median PDGFB copy gain of 1.8 versus 1.7, respectively, P=0.36). Genomic gains of COL1A1-PDGFB fusion gene is possibly an oncogenic mechanism that is identified in the clonal evolution of a subset of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans that evolves into fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Since this finding was not observed in all cases of fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, other oncogenic mechanisms may be operating in this form of tumor progression. Copy number of COL1A1-PDGFB fusion gene in the classic dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans areas does not seem to be a major predisposing mechanism for fibrosarcomatous transformation.

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