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Nat Genet. 1992 Oct;2(2):113-8.

A trithorax-like gene is interrupted by chromosome 11q23 translocations in acute leukaemias.

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Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037.


Some acute lymphocytic leukaemias, particularly those in young children, are associated with a t(4;11)(q21;q23) reciprocal translocation. We have cloned the translocation breakpoint on chromosome 11q23 and isolated corresponding RNA transcripts from this region. The translocation occurs within a cluster of Alu repetitive elements located within an intron of a gene that gives rise to 11.5 (kb) transcript spanning the translocation breakpoint. The 11.5 kb transcript encodes a protein that is highly homologous to the Drosophila trithorax gene, a developmental regulator. An analysis of a series of leukaemic patients carrying t(4;11) and t(9;11) translocations indicate that the majority of breakpoints in infant leukaemias lie within a 5 kb region.

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