A frequent chromosomal translocation in mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects band 3q27 and results in the deregulation of the B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) gene. Two breakpoint clusters have been described thus far, the major breakpoint region (MBR) and an alternative breakpoint region (ABR) that is located 245-285 kb 5′ to BCL6. Translocation at the MBR predominates in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, whereas translocation at the ABR is reported to be frequently associated with grade 3B follicular lymphoma. However, translocation at the ABR has not been studied in a large series of follicular lymphomas, particularly t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphomas. Therefore, we studied BLC6 rearrangements at the MBR and ABR by using break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes in 142 cases of follicular lymphomas, including 63 t(14;18)-negative and 79 t(14;18)-positive cases. Conventional cytogenetic (karyotype) analysis was also performed in 58 of the 63 t(14;18)-negative cases. BCL6 rearrangement was found in 26% of t(14;18)-negative and 19% of t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma. t(14;18)-negative cases showed a high frequency of rearrangement at the ABR (12%) with an ABR/MBR ratio of 0.86, compared with only 5% with an ABR/MBR ratio of 0.36 in the t(14;18)-positive cases. BCL6 rearrangements were found in all grades of follicular lymphoma but were most frequent in grade 3 t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma (60%). FISH analysis had a higher sensitivity for detecting BCL6 rearrangements than conventional cytogenetics. In conclusion, BCL6 rearrangements occur at a similar frequency in t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. However, t(14;18)-negative follicular lymphoma appears to have a higher frequency of rearrangement at the ABR compared with t(14;18)-positive follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Therefore, it is important to perform FISH analysis with ABR to determine possible involvement of BCL6 rearrangement in follicular lymphoma, especially in t(14;18)-negative cases.
- Alternative breakpoint region
- BCL6 rearrangement
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization
- Follicular lymphoma
- Major breakpoint region
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine