British journal of haematology vol:126 issue:3 pages:355-363
Chromosomal translocations of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene region at 14q32 are regularly involved in B lymphoid malignancies; they may initiate transformation either by deregulation of existing (proto) oncogenes or creation of new hybrid genes with transforming properties. Previously, we reported a reciprocal novel translocation, t(14;20)(q32;q12), found in the myeloma cell line UM3. In this cell line, the t(14;20) is the only translocation involving the IgH locus. Using double colour immunofluorescence in situ hybridization, the t(14;20) was also found in the diagnostic bone marrow sample, excluding a possible in vitro artefact. We also have found this recurrent t(14;20) in four other cell lines and in additional patient material. We cloned the regions containing the breakpoints in the der(14) and der(20) chromosomes from UM3, and analysed ectopic mRNA expression of genes in the breakpoint regions of both derivative chromosomes. Ectopic gene expression was observed for the transcription factor MAFB in der(14). The breakpoint scatter in the five cell lines with a t(14;20) - all expressing MAFB- is comprised within a region of 0.8 Mb. Provisional data indicate that this t(14;20) is associated with an adverse prognosis. Aberrant expression of MAFB may be involved in the oncogenic transformation of myeloma cells that harbour the t(14;20).