IGH switch breakpoints in Burkitt lymphoma: exclusive involvement of noncanonical class switch recombination

Jeroen E. J. Guikema, Conny de Boer, Eugenia Haralambieva, Laura A. Smit, Carel J. M. van Noesel, Ed Schuuring, Philip M. Kluin

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Most chromosomal t(8;14) translocations in sporadic Burkitt lymphomas (BL) are mediated by immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR), yet all tumors express IgM, suggesting an incomplete or exclusively monoallelic CSR event. We studied the exact configuration of both the nontranslocated IGH allele and the MYC/IGH breakpoint by applying a combination of low- and high-resolution methods (interphase FISH, DNA fiber FISH, long-distance PCR, and Southern blotting) on 16 BL. IGH class switch events involving the nontranslocated IGH allele were not observed. Thirteen cases had MYC/IGH breakpoints in or nearby IGH switch (S) sites, including five at Smu, three at Sgamma and five at Salpha. All eight translocations with a breakpoint at Sgamma or Salpha were perfectly reciprocal, without deletion of Cmu-Cdelta or other CH elements. Internal Smu deletions claimed to be a marker for CSR activity and implicated in stabilization of IgM expression were found in BL but did not correlate with downstream translocation events. This study shows that switch breakpoints in sporadic BL are exclusively resolved by a noncanonical recombination mechanism involving only one switch region
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-819
JournalGenes, chromosomes & cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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