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Nature. 1986 Nov 13-19;324(6093):158-61.

The t(8; 14) chromosomal translocation occurring in B-cell malignancies results from mistakes in V-D-J joining.


The reciprocal chromosome translocation, t(8;14), involving the heavy chain locus on chromosome 14 and the c-myc oncogene on chromosome 8 is a characteristic of the B-cell malignancies Burkitt's lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We have cloned and sequenced the t(8; 14) breakpoints of an African Burkitt's lymphoma cell line, P3HR-1, and a pre-B cell ALL cell line, 380. In each case the region of chromosome 8 involved has recombined with a JH region on chromosome 14. The two sites of breakage on chromosome 8 lie within 70 base pairs (bp) of one another. At each joining site, sequences homologous to the signal sequences thought to be recognized by the V-D-J recombinase were identified, as were N regions. In B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemias (B-CLL) carrying the t(11; 14) chromosome translocation and in follicular lymphomas carrying the t(14; 18) translocation, the V-D-J recombinase is implicated in the mechanism of chromosomal translocations. We speculate that the same enzymatic mechanism is responsible for the t(8; 14) translocations in African Burkitt's lymphoma and pre-B cell ALL.

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