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Hum Pathol. 2004 Aug;35(8):1038-41.

Heterogeneity of genomic breakpoints in MSN-ALK translocations in anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Pathology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Spain.


Anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL) are associated with the t(2;5)(p23;q35) translocation involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and the nucleophosmin (NPM) genes. However, genes other than NPM may fuse to ALK in these tumors. In this study we have identified an ALCL with a distinctive cell membrane-restrictive ALK immunostaining in which the molecular characterization showed a new fusion gene between moesin (MSN) and ALK with different breakpoints than previously recognized. The ALK breakpoint occurred in an exonic sequence, and the chimeric gene included an intronic sequence of MSN. Identification of the genomic breakpoint in the derivative chromosome 2 revealed a 72-base pair deletion involving both MSN and ALK sequences. These findings provide further evidence of the breakpoint heterogeneity in ALK translocations and highlight the importance of ALK immunostaining in the diagnosis of ALCL and the identification of the underlying genetic abnormalities in this lymphoma.

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