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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2005 Aug;43(4):414-23.

Amplification of IGH/MYC fusion in clinically aggressive IGH/BCL2-positive germinal center B-cell lymphomas.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein Campus Kiel, Germany.


Activation of an oncogene via its juxtaposition to the IGH locus by a chromosomal translocation or, less frequently, by genomic amplification is considered a major mechanism of B-cell lymphomagenesis. However, amplification of an IGH/oncogene fusion, coined a complicon, is a rare event in human cancers and has been associated with poor outcome and resistance to treatment. In this article are descriptions of two cases of germinal-center-derived B-cell lymphomas with IGH/BCL2 fusion that additionally displayed amplification of an IGH/MYC fusion. As shown by fluorescence in situ hybridization, the first case contained a IGH/MYC complicon in double minutes, whereas the second case showed a BCL2/IGH/MYC complicon on a der(8)t(8;14)t(14;18). Additional molecular cytogenetic and mutation analyses revealed that the first case also contained a chromosomal translocation affecting the BCL6 oncogene and a biallelic inactivation of TP53. The second case harbored a duplication of REL and acquired a translocation affecting IGL and a biallelic inactivation of TP53 during progression. Complicons affecting Igh/Myc have been reported previously in lymphomas of mouse models simultaneously deficient in Tp53 and in genes of the nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair pathway. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that IGH/MYC complicons have been reported in human lymphomas. Our findings imply that the two mechanisms resulting in MYC deregulation, that is, translocation and amplification, can occur simultaneously.

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