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Blood. 1998 Jun 15;91(12):4457-63.

Frequent dysregulation of the c-maf proto-oncogene at 16q23 by translocation to an Ig locus in multiple myeloma.

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  • 1Genetics Department, Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Dysregulation of oncogenes by translocation to an IgH (14q32) or IgL (kappa, 2p11 or lambda, 22q11) locus is a frequent event in the pathogenesis of B-cell tumors. Translocations involving an IgH locus and a diverse but nonrandom array of chromosomal loci occur in most multiple myeloma (MM) tumors even though the translocations often are not detected by conventional cytogenetic analysis. In a continuing analysis of translocations in 21 MM lines, we show that the novel, karyotypically silent t(14;16)(q32.3;q23) translocation is present in 5 MM lines, with cloned breakpoints from 4 lines dispersed over an approximately 500-kb region centromeric to the c-maf proto-oncogene at 16q23. Another line has a t(16;22)(q23;q11), with the breakpoint telomeric to c-maf, so that the translocation breakpoints in these 6 lines bracket c-maf. Only these 6 lines overexpress c-maf mRNA. As predicted for dysregulation of c-maf by translocation, there is selective expression of one c-maf allele in 2 informative lines with translocations. This is the first human tumor in which the basic zipper c-maf transcription factor is shown to function as an oncogene.

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