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Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 Feb;43(2):293-300.

Analysis of chromosome 6q deletion in EBV-associated NK cell leukaemia/lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Japan.


Deletions involving chromosome 6q have been reported in a number of human cancers such as ovarian and breast tumours as well as haematopoietic malignancies. It seems that this region might contain tumour-suppressor genes. Putative natural killer cell lymphomas/leukaemias (NKLL) represent a group of recently characterized haematolymphoid malignancies sharing an immunophenotype of CD3/Leu4- CD3epsilon+ CD56+, a genotype of germline T-cell receptor genes, and have a close association with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Deletion at 6q21-q25 was demonstrated in three recently reported cases of NKLL. Here we investigated the possible involvement of 6q deletions in the pathogenesis, and especially the tumorigenesis of NKLL. The regions of D6S1574 (6p25), DS276 (6p12), D6S257 (6q11), D6S434 (6q14), D6S287 (6q15), D6S292 (6q21), D6S308 (6q22), D6S264 (6q25), and D6S446 (6q26) were analysed by PCR in 25 cases of NKLL, including seven cases with chronic NK leukaemia, six with acute NK leukaemia and 12 with NK lymphoma. 6q deletions, especially 6q15-25, were frequently detected, but 6p deletions were not detected in any cases. Analysis of 6q21 showed possible deletion in two of seven cases (29%) with chronic NK leukaemia, three of six (50%) with acute leukaemia, and 12 of 12 (100%) with NK lymphoma. The frequency of deletion increased in clinical phases. In three cases with lymphoma, fluorescence in situ hybridisation was performed, which confirmed 6q21 deletion in two cases, although 6q telomeric and centromeric regions were preserved. The other case failed to show deletion. Our results suggest that 6q deletion, especially 6q21-25, might be involved in NKLL tumorigenesis, and support the presence of the tumour suppressor genes associated with the development of NKLL.

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