AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Chromosome translocations resulting in gene overexpression are commonly associated with lymphoid neoplasia. Enhancer elements of the immunoglobulin or T-cell receptor (TCR) loci are abnormally located in the vicinity of the entire coding sequences of genes which exert an influence on the normal maturation and differentiation program of lymphoid cells. DESIGN AND METHODS: A patient who presented with a B-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia had a t(6;14)(p22;q32). Cytogenetic and molecular findings confirmed the involvement of IgH. Molecular cloning of the breakpoint revealed that this was located near the coding sequence of the Id4 gene, a helix-loop-helix (HLH) inhibitor protein. Alu-repeated sequences at the 6p22 end flanked a short stretch of 10 bases shared by the 6p22 and 14q32 ends, suggesting that a deletion or a looping-Alu mediated mispairing mechanism may lead to this chromosome translocation. RESULTS: Northern blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that the Id4 mRNA was abnormally overexpressed in this case. Only the two smaller Id4 mRNA products were detected (1.6 and 1.1 kb). Immunohistochemical analysis of Id4 protein was also assayed in a series of hematologic malignancies. Marked overexpression was found in two cases of T-cell prolymphocytic leukemias and in four B-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia including one case with the t(8;14) and another case with a p53 mutation. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: The Id4 gene may behave as an oncogene in some human leukemias, perhaps through its capacity to sequester specific B-cell transcription factors. A genetic recombination between Alu-repeated sequences may not be the exclusive mechanism of generating pathogenic chromosomal translocations.
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Vol. 88 No. 9 (2003): September, 2003 : Case Reports
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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