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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2005 Feb;42(2):128-43.

Translocation t(X;11)(q13;q23) in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia disrupts two novel genes.

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Abteilung Molekulare Genetik, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.


Deletion of chromosome region 11q22-q23 defines a subgroup of patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) characterized by poor survival. Although the tumor-suppressor gene ATM in the consensus deletion region was found to be biallelically inactivated in about one third of B-CLL cases, in the majority of those who have this deletion, inactivation of the remaining ATM allele was not observed. To identify a second disease-associated gene, we investigated two B-CLL cases with translocation breakpoints in the critical 11q23 deletion region. In one case, a t(X;11)(q13;q23) was cloned and two novel genes were isolated. The breakpoint on 11q23 affected the ARHGAP20 gene, which encodes a protein predicted to be involved in the regulation of Rho family GTPases. The breakpoint on Xq13 occurred in BRWD3, which codes for a putative novel transcription factor. The rearrangement of ARHGAP20 and BRWD3 did not result in fusion transcripts, but it disrupted both genes. Mutation analysis of 28 B-CLL samples with monoallelic deletions and two B-CLL samples with 11q23 translocations detected no deleterious mutation in the remaining copy of ARHGAP20. Quantitative expression analysis in 22 B-CLLs revealed significant up-regulation of ARHGAP20 in CLL B cells, whereas BRWD3 was slightly down-regulated. Thus, deregulation of ARHGAP20 by altered gene expression or by gene disruption (but not point mutation) might be a general molecular mechanism of B-CLL leukemogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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