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Leukemia. 2005 Feb;19(2):201-8.

Disruption of the BCL11B gene through inv(14)(q11.2q32.31) results in the expression of BCL11B-TRDC fusion transcripts and is associated with the absence of wild-type BCL11B transcripts in T-ALL.

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Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland.


T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is associated with chromosomal aberrations characterized by juxtaposition of proto-oncogenes to T-cell receptor gene loci (TCR), resulting in the deregulated transcription of these proto-oncogenes. Here, we describe the molecular characterization of a novel chromosomal aberration, inv(14)(q11.2q32.31), in a T-ALL sample, involving the recently described BCL11B gene and the TCRD locus. The inversion joined the 5' part of BCL11B, including exons 1-3, to the TRDD3 gene segment of the TCRD locus, whereas the reciprocal breakpoint fused the TRDV1 gene segment to the fourth exon of BCL11B. The TRDV1-BCL11B joining region was 1344 bp long and contained fragments derived from 20q11.22, 3p21.33 and from 11p12, indicating the complex character of this aberration. A strong expression of in-frame transcripts with truncated BCL11B and TCRD constant region (TRDC) were observed, but in contrast to normal T cells and other T-ALL samples, no wild-type BCL11B transcripts were detected in the T-ALL sample. Screening of 37 other T-ALLs revealed one additional case with expression of the BCL11B-TRDC fusion transcript. As BCL11B appears to play a key role in T-cell differentiation, BCL11B disruption and disturbed expression may contribute to the development of T-cell malignancies in man.

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