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Oncogene. 1997 Sep;15(11):1357-62.

Characteristic sequence motifs at the breakpoints of the hybrid genes FUS/CHOP, EWS/CHOP and FUS/ERG in myxoid liposarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, Lund University Hospital, Sweden.


We have sequenced the breakpoint regions in one acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with t(16;21)(p11;q22) resulting in the formation of a FUS/ERG hybrid gene and in four myxoid liposarcomas (MLS), three of which had the translocation t(12;16) (q13;p11) and a FUS/CHOP fusion gene and one with t(12;22;20)(q13;q12;q11) and an EWS/CHOP hybrid gene. The breakpoints were localized to intron 7 of FUS, intron 1 of CHOP, an intronic sequence of ERG and intron 7 of EWS. In two MLS cases with t(12;16) and in the AML, the breaks in intron 7 of FUS had occurred close to each other, a few nucleotides downstream from a TG dinucleotide repeat region. The break in the two MLS had occurred in the same ATGGTG hexamer and in the AML 40 nucleotides upstream from the hexamer. The third case of t(12;16) MLS had a break upstream and near a TC-dinucleotide repeat region and a sequence similar to the chi bacterial recombination element was found to flank the breakpoint. In the MLS with the EWS/ CHOP hybrid gene, the break in intron 7 of EWS had occurred close to an Alu sequence. Similarly, in all 4 MLS, the breaks in intron 1 of CHOP were near an Alu sequence. No Alu or other repetitive sequences were found 250 bp upstream or downstream from the break in the ERG intron involved in the AML case. In the AML, the MLS with ESW/CHOP and in one MLS with FUS/CHOP there were one, two and six, respectively, nucleotide identity between the contributing germline sequences in the breakpoint. In the other two MLS cases, two and three extra nucleotides of unknown origin were inserted between the FUS and CHOP sequences. At the junction and/or in its close vicinity, identical oligomers, frequently containing a trinucleotide TGG, were found in both partner genes. Our data thus show that all four genes-FUS, EWS, CHOP and ERG-contain characteristic motifs in the breakpoint regions which may serve as specific recognition sites for DNA-binding proteins and have functional importance in the recombination events taking place between the chromosomes. Different sequence motifs may, however, play a role in each individual case.

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