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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Chromosomal translocations in lymphoid malignancies reveal novel proto-oncogenes.

Chromosomal translocation within B and T cell malignancies has proven a rich source for proto-oncogenes. The obligate DNA breaks within immunoglobulin (Ig) and T cell receptor (TCR) loci are frequently the sites of recurrent translocations. Burkitt's lymphoma established the paradigm by introducing the myc oncogene from chromosome segment 8q24 into the Ig heavy chain gene locus at 14q32. Molecular cloning of an aberrant Ig rearrangement in follicular lymphoma revealed Bcl-2. Bcl-2 constitutes the first member of a new category of oncogenes: regulators of programmed cell death. Bcl-2 blocks apoptosis and maintains long-term immune responsiveness including B-cell memory. The PRAD1 gene of parathyroid adenomas appears to be the elusive Bcl-1 gene of t(11;14)(q13;q32) bearing lymphomas. It proves to be a novel G1 cyclin. Acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL) pre-B phenotype produce a E2A/PBX fusion protein that possesses the leucine zipper of E2A with the homeodomain of PBX. Two molecular forms of the BCR/ABL fusion protein are produced by the Philadelphia chromosome. A deregulated p210 tyrosine kinase is found in chronic myelogenous leukemia, while a p190 form predominates in Ph+ ALL. In contrast, T-cell ALLs introduce a potpourri of genes into their T cell receptor loci. However, a common theme is emerging. These oncogenes (Ttg1, Ttg2, SCL, LylI, H0X11) all belong to classic families of transcription factors, possessing LIM domains, helix-loop-helix motifs, or homeodomains. Provocatively, these transcription factors are normally intended for lineages other than T cells. These genes have widened the horizons of both oncogenesis and normal development.[1]


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