Follicular lymphoma is characterized by the presence of the t(14;18)(q32;q21) chromosomal translocation that juxtaposes the bcl-2 gene at 18q21 with the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus at 14q32. We have previously shown that accurate quantitation of t(14;18)-carrying cells in follicular lymphoma patients can be achieved by non-gelbased real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (PCR; Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). Since our report, several studies have demonstrated that real-time PCR is highly sensitive and a reliable tool for evaluating treatment effectiveness and for following minimal residual disease in follicular lymphoma patients. Unfortunately, currently available real-time PCR methods do not determine the size of the amplification product, which is useful for excluding contamination and is commonly used as presumptive evidence of clonal identity or disparity when multiple samples from the same patient are analyzed. We describe a modified real-time PCR assay that rapidly allows accurate quantitation and precise determination of the size of the t(14;18) fusion sequence without the need for gel electrophoresis. In this assay, a consensus immunoglobulin heavy chain-joining region gene (JH) primer labeled at its 5′ end with the fluorescent dye NED (Applied Biosystems) is included in the real-time PCR assay and thus is incorporated into the bcl-2/JH fusion product. The JH-NED primer did not interfere with the TaqMan probe fluorescent signal or target detection and allowed subsequent amplicon size determination by semiautomated high-resolution capillary electrophoresis.
- Follicular lymphoma
- High-resolution capillary electrophoresis
- Real-time polymerase chain reaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine