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Blood. 1997 May 15;89(10):3755-62.

Frequent mutation of the 5' noncoding region of the BCL-6 gene in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, Universita di Torino, Novara, Italy.


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (AIDS-NHL), a major source of morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, are derived from B cells and are classified into two major categories, Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLCL). Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and body-cavity-based lymphoma (BCBL) represent less frequent AIDS-NHL types. The molecular pathogenesis of AIDS-NHL is characterized by distinct genetic pathways, including chromosomal rearrangements of c-MYC and BCL-6 in AIDS-BL and AIDS-DLCL, respectively. In addition to gross rearrangements, recent evidence has suggested that BCL-6 may also be affected by mutations of the gene 5' noncoding regions. Here we have investigated the distribution of BCL-6 mutations in a panel representative of all the AIDS-NHL subtypes. Forty-three AIDS-NHL were analyzed for mutations in the first exon-first intron boundary region of BCL-6. Mutations were detected in all categories of AIDS-NHL (25 of 43 cases; 58%), including 12 of 20 AIDS-BL, 10 of 15 AIDS-DLCL, two of three AIDS-ALCL, and one of five of AIDS-BCBL. BCL-6 mutations occurred independent of BCL-6 rearrangements and presence of other genetic lesions frequently associated with AIDS-NHL. These results indicate that mutations of BCL-65' noncoding regions represent the most common genetic alteration presently detectable in AIDS-NHL. The frequency of these mutations, as well as their location in the proximity of BCL-6 regulatory sequences, suggest that they may play a role in AIDS-related lymphomagenesis.

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