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Ann Oncol. 1997;8 Suppl 2:109-17.

Bcl-1/cyclin D1 in malignant lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Leiden University Hospital, The Netherlands.


Mantle-cell lymphoma comprises 2%-10% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs). Patients present with generalized disease, and have a poor prognosis. Three different histologic patterns (mantle zone, nodular, and diffuse) and three different cytological variants (classical, blastic, and pleomorphic) have been described. The phenotype (strong surface IgM, CD5+, CD10-, CD23-, cyclin D1+ and B-cell markers+) is remarkably constant. Dependent on the methods used (PCR, Southern blot analysis, and cytogenetics) a t(11;14) can be detected in approximately 35%-66% of cases. Using FISH analysis, possibly almost all cyclin D1-expressing MCLs carry this translocation, indicating that a substantial part of these translocations are missed by conventional methods. This has been confirmed by DNA fiber FISH analysis by which the breakpoints could be accurately mapped over a 220 kb region centromeric of the cyclin D1 gene. Additional genetic abnormalities involve breakpoints and deletion at the 3' end of the cyclin D1 gene, numerical chromosomal aberrations, mutations in p53, and deletions of p16. These may be associated with tumor progression. Owing to the translocation t(11;14), the cyclin D1 gene is activated. At the RNA level, approximately 90% of MCLs show overexpression. This corroborates immunohistochemistry on paraffin tissue sections. Since expression of cyclin D1 in normal lymphoid cells is very low to undetectable, and only hairy-cell leukemia and very few other B-cell lymphomas show expression, immunohistochemistry for cyclin D1 provides an excellent marker for MCL. In hairy-cell leukemia, expression is moderate and cannot be explained by chromosomal translocation.

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