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Correlation between immunoglobulin light chain expression and variant translocation in Burkitt's lymphoma


Burkitt's-type lymphomas–leukaemias (BL) are monoclonal proliferations of malignant B lymphocytes1. Irrespective of whether they carry the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) genome, these tumour cells have been shown consistently to have one of the specific reciprocal chromosome translocations, t(8; 14), t(2; 8) or t(8; 22), involving the long arm of chromosome 8 (on 8q24) and chromosome 14,2 or 22 (on 14q32,2p12 and 22q11, respectively) 2–6. The latter chromosomes have been shown recently to carry genes for immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chains7,8, and κ 9 and λ 10,11 light chains, respectively. Furthermore, the localization of κ light chains within 2pcen–2p13 encompasses the breakpoint observed in Burkitt's translocation (2p12). It was therefore considered of interest to determine whether the expression of immunoglobulin chains in BL cells is related to the type of chromosomal anomalies observed. We report here that there is a direct relationship between expression of immunoglobulin light chains and specific type of translocation: BL cells with t(8; 22) express λ chains, whereas those with t(2; 8) express κ chains.

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Lenoir, G., Preud'homme, J., Bernheim, A. et al. Correlation between immunoglobulin light chain expression and variant translocation in Burkitt's lymphoma. Nature 298, 474–476 (1982).

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