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Hum Pathol. 2008 Feb;39(2):184-93. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans COL1A1-PDGFB fusion is identified in virtually all dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans cases when investigated by newly developed multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization assays.

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  • 1Department of Pathology at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a cutaneous, locally aggressive spindle cell tumor of intermediate malignancy. Tumor cells are reactive for CD34 and characterized by a t(17;22) translocation or a supernumerary ring chromosome that results in the fusion of exon 2 of PDGFB to various exons of the COL1A1 gene. We developed a multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay to detect fusion transcripts for all possible COL1A1 breakpoints. Twenty-seven formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded DFSP cases were analyzed using 18 COL1A1 forward primers and 1 exon 2 PDGFB reverse primer. Sequence analysis was performed to definitively characterize breakpoints. Results were correlated with histology, immunohistochemistry, PDGFB break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, and cytogenetics when available. Fusion transcripts were detected by RT-PCR in all but one DFSP case. Sequencing revealed a PDGFB exon 2 breakpoint in all cases. COL1A1 breakpoints were in exons 7 (1 patient), 10 (1), 29 (2), 40 (1), 46 (3), and 49 (2), and intronic between exons 13:14 (1), 26:27 (2), 30:31 (1) 33:34 (1), 43:44 (7), 45:46 (1), and 46:47 (1). Three novel COL1A1 breakpoints were identified, intronic between exons 13:14 (1), 30:31 (1) and in exon 49 (2). There was no correlation found between breakpoints and age, sex, or histologic variants. Using this sensitive multiplex RT-PCR assay in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found COL1A1-PDGFB rearrangements appear more prevalent in DFSP than previously reported. Its detection may be particularly helpful in the differential diagnosis of atypical, fibrosarcomatous, and metastatic DFSP.

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