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Leukemia. 1996 Jan;10(1):167-70.

Deletion of the short arm of chromosome 12 is a secondary event in acute lymphoblastic leukemia with t(12;21).

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Unité 301 INSERM, Institut de Génétique Moléculaire, Paris, France.


Translocation t(12;21) has been described as a nonrandom event in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in patients with deletion of the short arm of chromosome 12, using fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques. Extensive FISH experiments were performed in order to re-examine the short arm of chromosome 12 in three children with ALL, previously shown to have t(12;21). It was shown that the t(12;21) is undetectable by routine R-banding technique and that the translocated 12 looks like a cytogenetically normal chromosome 12 in the three patients. Partial 12p deletion involving the TEL locus was shown to be interstitial in one patient with 12p- by using cosmid and YAC probes. In the second patient, the 12p- chromosome was secondary to the translocation since it was observed in about one half of the metaphases analyzed with FISH. In the third patient, the region of TEL usually rearranged in the t(12;21) displayed a germline pattern by Southern blotting, at diagnosis and in relapse. A few metaphases showed associated 12p- by standard cytogenetics, only in relapse. Thus we conclude that the TEL allele not involved in t(12;21) is inconstantly lost in patients with this subtype of ALL and occurs on the 12p- chromosome. These data question the status of tumor suppressor gene hypothesized for TEL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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