Abstract

The chromosomal breakpoint of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells of the B-cell type carrying the translocated long arms of chromosomes 11 and 14 [t(11;14) (q13;q32)] was cloned. The breakpoint was found to be within the joining segment of the human heavy chain locus on the translocated long arm of chromosome 14. A probe that is specific for chromosome 11 and that maps immediately 5' to the breakpoint on the 14q+ chromosome was isolated. The probe detected a rearrangement of the homologous genomic DNA segment in the parental CLL cells and also in DNA from a diffuse large cell lymphoma with the t(11;14) translocation. This rearranged DNA segment was not present in Burkitt lymphoma cells with the t(8;14) translocation or in nonneoplastic human lymphoblastoid cells. The probe can thus be used to identify and characterize a gene located on band q13 of chromosome 11 that appears to be involved in the malignant transformation of human B cells carrying the t(11;14) translocation. This gene, named bcl -1, appears to be unrelated to any of the known retrovirus oncogenes described to date.

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