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Pathology. 2001 Feb;33(1):7-12.

Timely topic: anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) spreads its influence.

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1
Department of Pathology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Abstract

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is normally not expressed in human tissues except selected sites in the nervous system. Its expression and constitutive activation as a result of a chromosomal translocation involving 2p23 plays a pivotal role in the genesis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma. ALK expression has been instrumental in defining a homogeneous subset from the category of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, characterised by occurrence in young patients, primary systemic presentation, favorable prognosis, a broad morphological spectrum, nuclear and/or cytoplasmic immunostaining for ALK protein, and a number of possible fusion partner genes such as NPM, ATIC, TFG, TPM3 and CLTCL. Recently ALK has been implicated in the genesis of another tumour type, the inflammatory myofibroblastic tumours. The ALK-positive examples occur in children and young adults, involving a variety of sites, such as the abdomen, mesentery, liver, bladder, mediastinum, lung and bone. The partner genes identified in some cases are TPM3 (tropomyosin 3) and TPM4 (tropomyosin 4). These molecular findings also further support the neoplastic nature of at least a subset of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumours.

PMID:
11280613
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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