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Leukemia. 1997 Sep;11(9):1459-64.

ETV6 is the target of chromosome 12p deletions in t(12;21) childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie Génétique, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France.


The presence of ETV6 deletions was investigated in 215 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) using the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) approach. We used four intragenic or juxtagenic microsatellite markers to detect allelic deletions. In this series of unselected patients, LOH of ETV6 markers was found in 23% of cases (6% of T-ALL and 26% of B lineage ALL) confirming that chromosome 12p12-13 deletions represent a major genetic alteration in childhood ALL, frequently missed by cytogenetic analysis. The presence of a t(12;21)(p13;q22) was studied by RT-PCR and/or FISH in a total of 134 patients (125 B lineage ALL, nine T-ALL) including 42 cases with LOH. Thirty-four out of 44 patients (77%) for whom a t(12;21) was observed displayed LOH of the ETV6 markers. When associated with a t(12;21), ETV6 is very likely to be the target of deletions as indicated by the detection of intragenic deletions in three patients. Although deletion of ETV6 and t(12;21) were associated in most patients, in eight cases (six B lineage and two T-ALL) LOH was detected at the ETV6 locus without ETV6-AML1 hybrid RNA. FISH studies conducted in five of these eight patients confirmed the absence of translocation involving ETV6. In such patients, the other allele of ETV6 could be disrupted by either a small deletion, a point mutation, or an epigenetic modification and it will be of interest to study the structure and expression of the remaining allele of ETV6 in these cases. Alternatively, a tumor suppressor gene located close to ETV6 and CDKN1B could be the target of deletions.

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