Concurrent activation of MYC and BCL2 in B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines by translocation of both oncogenes to the same immunoglobulin heavy chain locus

M J Dyer, D M Lillington, C Bastard, H Tilly, D Lens, J M Heward, G Stranks, R Morilla, S Monrad, P Guglielmi, J C Kluin-Nelemans, A Hagemeijer, B D Young, D Catovsky
Leukemia 1996, 10 (7): 1198-208
Concurrent activation of BCL2 and MYC usually occurs in B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) by translocation of both oncogenes to both immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) alleles: this abrogates immunoglobulin synthesis. We have studied three B-NHL cell lines (DoHH2, VAL and ROS 50) and show that concurrent activation of BCL2 and MYC may follow translocation of both oncogenes to the same IGH allele. Conventional cytogenetics of DoHH2 suggested the presence of a t(14;18)(q32;q21) translocation. However, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) studies using whole chromosome paints, alpha satellite probes and flow-sorted chromosomes as probes revealed an unexpected complexity of rearrangements involving chromosomes 8, 14 and 18, namely t(8;14;18)(q24;q32;q21). DNA blot and previous PCR analysis confirmed the juxtaposition of BCL2 major breakpoint region (mbr) with IGJH6, but also demonstrated a rearrangement within the first exon of MYC. The centromeric (5') MYC rearranged fragment comigrated with the BCL2-JH6 rearranged fragment in BamHI, EcoRI and Bg/II restriction digests. The der(8)t(8;14;18) therefore comprised 5' MYC (exon I)-Sgamma4-JH6-BCL2 mbr. Similar rearrangements were observed in both ROS 50 and VAL cell lines which contained two and three copies of the der(8)t(8;14;18) respectively. Quantitative flow cytometry for BCL2 and MYC expression showed abundant expression of both proteins in all three lines. These data indicate the der(14)t(14;18)(q32;q21) may itself be the target for any second translocation. The presence of the intact BCL2-JH fusion gene on the der(8)t(8;14;18) allowed concurrent activation of both BCL2 and MYC with no loss of immunoglobulin expression.


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