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Genomic amplification of BCR/ABL1 and a region downstream of ABL1 in chronic myeloid leukaemia: a FISH mapping study of CML patients and cell lines

Author(s): Virgili Anna | Nacheva Elisabeth P

Journal: Molecular Cytogenetics
ISSN 1755-8166

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is characterized by the expression of the BCR/ABL1 fusion gene, a constitutively activated tyrosine kinase that commonly results from the formation of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome after a t(9;22)(q34;q11) or variant rearrangement. The duplication of the Ph chromosome is a recurring abnormality acquired during disease progression, whereas intrachromosomal amplification of BCR/ABL1 is a rare phenomenon and has been associated with imatinib therapy resistance. Archival bone marrow chromosome suspensions from 19 CML patients known to carry more than 1 copy of BCR/ABL1 and 10 CML cell lines were analyzed by fluorescent in situ hybridization with a panel of probes from 9q34.1-qter to investigate whether they carried two identical copies of the Ph chromosome or, instead, one or both Ph contained cryptic imbalances of some regions. Results A duplication of the entire Ph chromosome with no further events involving the derivative 22 was found in 12 patients. In contrast, a sideline with either 1 or 2 isochromosomes of the Ph chromosome was identified in 6 patients but none of the cell lines. In one of the patients a translocation between the distal end of one arm of the isoderivative chromosome 22 and a third chromosome was revealed. 2 patients were found to carry marker structures harbouring high copy number gains of BCR/ABL1 fusion along with a variable part of 9q34 region downstream of ABL1 breakpoint, similarly to the markers present in the imatinib resistant cell line K562. We identified the following regions of amplification: 9q34.1 → q34.2 and 9q34.1 → qter, with a common minimum amplified region of 682 Kb. One of the patients had 5 BCR/ABL1 positive clones with variable level of 9q34 amplifications on a variety of structures, from an isoderivative 22 to tandem duplications. Conclusions These data confirm that the intrachromosomal genomic amplification of BCR/ABL1 that occurs in some CML patients during disease progression also involves amplification of 9q34 gene-rich sequences downstream of ABL1 breakpoint. The variety of rearrangements identified in this relatively small cohort demonstrates that the Ph chromosome is not a stable structure but prone to further rearrangements during disease progression.
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