High-level DNA amplifications are common genetic aberrations in B-cell neoplasms

Werner CA, Döhner H, Joos S, Trümper LH, Baudis M, Barth TF, Ott G, Möller P, Lichter P, Bentz M.

Abstract Gene amplification is one of the molecular mechanisms resulting in the up-regulation of gene expression. In non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, such gene amplifications have been identified rarely. Using comparative genomic hybridization, a technique that has proven to be very sensitive for the detection of high-level DNA amplifications, we analyzed 108 cases of B-cell neoplasms (42 chronic B-cell leukemias, 5 mantle cell lymphomas, and 61 aggressive B-cell lymphomas). Twenty-four high-level amplifications were identified in 13% of the patients and mapped to 15 different genomic regions. Regions most frequently amplified were bands Xq26-28, 2p23-24, and 2p14-16 as well as 18q21 (three times each). Amplification of several proto-oncogenes and a cell cycle control gene (N-MYC (two cases), BCL2, CCND2, and GLI) located within the amplified regions was demonstrated by Southern blot analysis or fluorescence in situ hybridization to interphase nuclei of tumor cells. These data demonstrate that gene amplifications in B-cell neoplasms are much more frequent than previously assumed. The identification of highly amplified DNA regions and genes included in the amplicons provides important information for further analyses of genetic events involved in lymphomagenesis.