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Nature. 1985 May 23-29;315(6017):340-3.

Clustering of breakpoints on chromosome 11 in human B-cell neoplasms with the t(11;14) chromosome translocation.


The t(11;14) (q13;q32) chromosome translocation has been reported in diffuse small and large cell lymphomas and in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) and multiple myeloma. Because chromosome band 14q32 is involved in this translocation, as well as in the t(8;14) (q24;q32) translocation of the Burkitt tumour, interruption of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus was postulated for this rearrangement. We have cloned the chromosomal joinings between chromosomes 11 and 14 and also between chromosomes 14 and 18, in B-cell tumours carrying translocations involving these chromosomes, and suggested the existence of two translocated loci, bcl-1 and bcl-2, normally located on chromosomes 11 (band q13) and 18 (band q21) respectively, involved in the pathogenesis of human B-cell neoplasms. The results indicate that in the leukaemic cells from two different cases of CLL, the breakpoints on chromosome 11 are within 8 nucleotides of each other and on chromosome 14 involve the J4-DNA segment. Because we detected a 7mer-9mer signal-like sequence with a 12-base-long spacer on the normal chromosome 11, close to the breakpoint, we speculate that the t(11;14) chromosome translocation in CLL may be sequence specific and may involve the recombination system for immunoglobulin gene segment (V-D-J) joining.

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