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Blood. 1998 Nov 1;92(9):3025-34.

The t(4;14) translocation in myeloma dysregulates both FGFR3 and a novel gene, MMSET, resulting in IgH/MMSET hybrid transcripts.

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Department of Medicine, the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA.


Previously we reported that a karyotypically silent t(4;14)(p16. 3;q32.3) translocation is present in about 25% of multiple myeloma (MM) tumors, and causes overexpression of FGFR3, which is 50 to 100 kb telomeric to the 4p16 breakpoints. Frequent FGFR3 kinase activating mutations in MM with t(4;14) translocations substantiate an oncogenic role for FGFR3. We now report that the 4p16 breakpoints occur telomeric to and within the 5' introns of a novel gene, MMSET (Multiple Myeloma SET domain). In normal tissues, MMSET has a complex pattern of expression with a short form (647 amino acids [aa]) containing an HMG box and hath region, and an alternatively spliced long form (1365 aa) containing the HMG box and hath region plus 4 PHD fingers and a SET domain. Although t(4;14) translocation results in IgH/MMSET hybrid transcripts, overexpression of MMSET also occurs from endogenous promoters on 4p16. Given the homology to HRX/MLL1/ALL1 at 11q23 that is dysregulated by translocations in acute leukemia, we hypothesize that dysregulation of MMSET contributes to neoplastic transformation in MM with t(4;14) translocation. This is the first example of an IgH translocation that simultaneously dysregulates two genes with oncogenic potential: FGFR3 on der(14) and MMSET on der(4).

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