A B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL) cell line (Karpas 1106) with an unusual three-way translocation involving 18q21.3 has been derived from a patient with mediastinal lymphoblastic B-NHL. Although conventional cytogenetics showed a derivative 18q-identical to that seen in cases with t(14;18)(q32.3;q21.3), no translocations of either chromosome 14 could be detected. Instead fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis using a chromosome-18 paint showed that the segment 18q21.3–18qter had become sandwiched on a derivative chromosome X between segments Xqter-c- Xq28 and 13q12-qter, with the centrometric site of 18q21.3 subband juxtaposed to the X sequences. Pulsed-field DNA blots failed to detect rearrangement of the BCL2 gene. Conventional DNA blots using a variety of restriction digests and both 52 and 32 BCL2 and FVT 1 probes also failed to detect rearrangement in Karpas 1106. A rearranged fragment seen only in HindIII digests with 52 BLC2 probes may represent a local microalteration, which is either a mutation or small deletion involving the HindIII site as seen in other cases of B-NHL. Neither BCL2 RNA nor BCL2 protein expression were detected. These and other data suggest that genes at 18q21.3, other than BCL2 and FVT1, may be targets for translocation in certain subgroups of B-NHL.

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