Analysis of stepwise genetic changes in an AIDS-related Burkitt's lymphoma

Franco Fais, Gilberto Fronza, Silvio Roncella, Alberto Inga, Paola Campomenosi, Giovanna Cutrona, Annalisa Pezzolo, Franco Fedeli, Angelo Abbondandolo, Nicholas Chiorazzi, Vito Pistoia, Manlio Ferrarini

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In this study, immunoglobumin variable (Ig V) region genes, c-myc re-arrangement and sequence and p53 status were analyzed in clones derived from a Burkitt's lymphoma cell line (LAM) in which it was previously demonstrated that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection occurred late during lymphomagenesis. Such evidence was based on the finding that 2 groups of cellular clones, characterized by the same c-myc re-arrangement but different EBV-fused termini, were obtained from the LAM cell line. The Ig V gene sequences were identical for the 2 groups of clones with different EBV-fused termini. The Ig variable heavy (V(H)) gene sequence displayed a substantial accumulation of point mutations (but no intraclonal diversification), whereas the productive Ig V lambda (Vλ) gene sequence was virtually unmutated. Studies on the Ig V kappa (V(K)) locus suggested a receptor revision event (with a switch from κ to λ chain production) prior to EBV infection. Likewise, it was determined that the mutations observed in both p53 alleles and in the re-arranged c-myc gene occurred before EBV infection. Based on these findings, we present a model for the various steps of lymphomagenesis. It is proposed that stimulation by an antigen or a superantigen initially favored the clonal expansion and accumulation of other cytogenetic changes, including those involved in receptor editing. These events occurred prior to or during the germinal center (GC) phase of B-cell maturation. Thereafter, possibly upon exit of the cells from the GC, EBV infection occurred, further promoting lymphomagenesis. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-750
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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