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Oncogene. 1991 Dec;6(12):2271-6.

Bcl-2/JH rearrangements in benign lymphoid tissues with follicular hyperplasia.

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Department of Pathology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


The t(14; 18)(q32;q21) chromosomal translocation, characteristic of follicular lymphoma, couples the bcl-2 protooncogene on chromosome 18 to the immunoglobulin heavy-chain joining region (JH). This results in a deregulated transcription rate of bcl-2, suggesting a major role of the t(14;18) translocation in lymphomagenesis. By using a sensitive polymerase chain reaction technique specific for the major breakpoint region t(14;18), we now demonstrate the presence of bcl-2/JH rearrangements in lymph nodes and tonsils with follicular hyperplasia in 13 of 24 cases (54%). The approximate frequency was one translocation-positive cell in 10(5) cells. No bcl-2/JH rearrangements were detected in reactive lymph nodes without follicular hyperplasia or in bone marrow cells. Sequence analysis showed the amplified bcl-2/JH fragments to be unique to each individual sample and distinct from 24 sequenced follicular lymphoma-derived t(14;18) junctions, thus excluding contamination artifacts. The presence of random nucleotide insertions at the breakpoint junctions suggests a pre-B-cell origin of the t(14;18) translocation, in analogy with follicular lymphomas. We conclude that the t(14;18) translocation can occur in non-malignant tissue and will not, on its own, lead to malignancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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