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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1998 Apr 1;102(1):32-9.

Structural analysis of PAX3 genomic rearrangements in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6082, USA.


In the pediatric cancer alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, the (2;13)(q35;q14) translocation juxtaposes PAX3 and FKHR to produce a chimeric PAX3-FKHR gene. With the use of Southern blot methodology, genomic rearrangements of PAX3 intron 7 were detected in 23 of 23 fusion-positive alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas and were not detected in 19 fusion-negative embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas. Rearrangements corresponding to the reciprocal FKHR-PAX3 fusion were detected in 21 of 23 PAX3-FKHR-positive cases, though FKHR-PAX3 transcripts were detected in only 15 of 23 cases. Mapping experiments demonstrated that breakpoints occurred throughout this 17.5 kb PAX3 intron and, in 12 of 23 cases, breakpoints clustered within a 4.5-kb region at the 3' end of the intron. Chromatin analysis revealed a prominent DNase I hypersensitive site at the 5' end of the intron but did not indicate any other DNA-protein interactions that might have affected the breakpoint distribution. Sequence analysis identified AT-rich regions within the 3' cluster, as well as alternating purine-pyrimidine and homopyrimidine elements at the borders of this cluster. These finding suggest that translocation breakpoints are constrained to PAX3 intron 7 primarily by functional boundaries related to the flanking exons and may be secondarily affected by sequence features within this intron.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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