Higher-grade transformation of follicle center lymphoma is associated with somatic mutation of the 5' noncoding regulatory region of the BCL-6 gene

Izidore S. Lossos, Ronald Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Follicle center lymphoma (FCL) is an indolent low-grade B-cell non- Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) that frequently transforms to aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Histologic transformation of FCL is commonly associated with accumulation of secondary genetic alterations. The BCL-6 gene is altered by chromosomal rearrangements and mutations clustering in its 5' noncoding regulatory region in up to 70% of primary DLBCL, but in a significantly smaller subset of FCL. Previous studies have shown that both chromosomal rearrangements and mutations could deregulate BCL-6 expression. To evaluate the association between progressive accumulation of BCL-6 regulatory region mutations and the histologic transformation of FCL, we analyzed by extensive cloning and sequencing paired biopsy specimens obtained at the time of FCL diagnosis and transformation (6 patients) or FCL relapse (3 patients). In an additional patient, biopsy specimens obtained at the time of diagnosis, FCL relapse, and subsequent transformation to DLBCL were evaluated. The presence of identical mutations in the paired diagnosis and posttransformation DLBCL specimens confirmed the common clonal origin of both the pretransformation and the posttransformation lymphomas. No new mutations in the 5' noncoding regulatory region of the BCL-6 gene were detected in any of the specimens evaluated at the time of FCL relapse. In contrast, 5 of the 7 transformed specimens contained new mutations not found in the paired original biopsy specimens obtained at the time of FCL diagnosis or relapse. The number of these new mutations ranged from 1 to 6 per specimen. Some of the new mutations tended to cluster in certain areas of the 5' noncoding regulatory region of the BCL-6 gene. Our results show that transformation of FCL to DLBCL is associated with accumulation of new mutations in the 5' noncoding regulatory region of the BCL-6 gene, that by deregulation of the BCL-6 gene expression may play a role in lymphoma transformation. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-639
Number of pages5
JournalBlood
Volume96
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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