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Hum Pathol. 1995 Dec;26(12):1370-4.

EWS and WT-1 gene fusion in desmoplastic small round cell tumor of the abdomen.

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Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico, School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131, USA.


Chromosome translocations found in neoplasms often result in the creation of hybrid genes encoding chimeric proteins. This case study describes a patient with desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) of the abdomen, an aggressive neoplasm characterized by translocation of chromosomes 11 and 22. Southern hybridization showed that the Ewing sarcoma gene (EWS) gene was rearranged in the DSRCT. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of tumor cell RNA revealed that exons 1 to 7 of the EWS gene were joined to exons 8 to 10 of the Wilms' Tumor-1 (WT-1) gene resulting in the production of a chimeric message. The WT-1 and EWS genes encode DNA and RNA binding proteins involved in Wilms' tumor and Ewing sarcoma pathogenesis, respectively. The fusion of these two genes in DSRCT results in the production of a putatively oncogenic protein composed of the zinc finger DNA binding domains of WT-1 linked to potential transcriptional regulatory domains of EWS. DNA sequencing revealed the genomic breakpoints of translocation on chromosomes 11 and 22. The genomic breakpoint on chromosome 22 occurred in EWS intron 7 just 2 nucleotides 3' of exon 7. Polymerase chain reaction-based assays were developed that could detect the fused genes in the DSRCT tumor using either RNA or genomic DNA. The potential diagnostic use of these assays is discussed.

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