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Cancer Res. 1999 Aug 15;59(16):3870-4.

Frequent deletion of hSNF5/INI1, a component of the SWI/SNF complex, in chronic myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Haematology, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


During routine two-fusion fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of patients with blast crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), we observed that yeast artificial chromosome 29GD7, which is distal to BCR at 22q11, failed to hybridize to the 9q+ derivative chromosome in 3 of 11 (27%) cases. This deleted region is close to hSNF5/INI1 (SMARCB1), a gene that encodes a widely expressed component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex and that suffers biallelic mutations in malignant rhabdoid tumors. To determine whether hSNF5/INI1 was also deleted in patients with CML, we performed fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis with a specific cosmid probe. Deletion of hSNF5/INI1 on the 9q+ chromosome was found in 9 of 25 (36%) cases in blast crisis (lymphoid, n = 3; myeloid, n = 6). For the three of these nine patients for whom material was available prior to transformation, deletions were also seen in chronic phase, indicating that they are early events. Analysis of an additional 21 patients in chronic phase revealed heterozygous loss of hSNF5/INI1 in 5 (24%) cases. Of the 14 patients who had hSNF5/INI1 deletions, 7 showed a mosaic pattern of hybridization in which only a proportion of CML cells that harbored both the t(9;22) derivative chromosomes had a deletion, indicating that loss of hSNF5/INI1 was acquired during the course of the disease. Single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of all nine hSNF5/INI1 exons and splice junctions failed to reveal any mutations for 31 patients in transformation, including 8 who had deletions, although two polymorphisms were identified. We conclude that deletions of hSNF5/INI1 are frequent in patients with CML. Such deletions may be associated with reduced levels of hSNF5/INI1 expression, which could contribute to leukemogenesis by altering chromatin-mediated transcriptional control. Alternatively, the deletions could target another unidentified gene at 22q11 that plays a role in the pathogenesis of CML.

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