The t(14;18) chromosome translocations involved in B-cell neoplasms result from mistakes in VDJ joining

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Science  27 Sep 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4720, pp. 1390-1393
DOI: 10.1126/science.3929382


In this study, the joining sequences between chromosomes 14 and 18 on the 14q+ chromosomes of a patient with pre-B-cell leukemia and four patients with follicular lymphoma carrying a t(14;18) chromosome translocation were analyzed. In each case, the involved segment of chromosome 18 has recombined with the immunoglobulin heavy-chain joining segment (JH) on chromosome 14. The sites of the recombination on chromosome 14 are located close to the 5' end of the involved JH segment, where the diversity (D) regions are rearranged with the JH segments in the production of active heavy-chain genes. As extraneous nucleotides (N regions) were observed at joining sites and specific signal-like sequences were detected on chromosome 18 in close proximity to the breakpoints, it is concluded that the t(14;18) chromosome translocation is the result of a mistake during the process of VDJ joining at the pre-B-cell stage of differentiation. The putative recombinase joins separated DNA segments on two different chromosomes instead of joining separated segments on the same chromosome, causing a t(14;18) chromosome translocation in the involved B cells.

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