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A novel ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion in congenital fibrosarcoma


Congenital (or infantile) fibrosarcoma (CFS) is a malignant tumour of f ibroblasts that occurs in patients aged two years or younger. CFS is unique among human sarcomas in that it has an excellent prognosis and very low metastatic rate1,2. CFS is histologi-cally identical to adult-type f ibrosarcoma (ATFS); however, ATFS is an aggressive malignancy of adults and older children that has a poor prognosis3. We report a novel recurrent t(12;15)(p13;q25) rearrangement in CFS that may underlie the distinctive biological properties of this tumour. By cloning the chromosome breakpoints, we show that the rearrangement fuses the ETV6 (also known as TEL) gene from 12p13 with the 15q25 NTRK3 neurotrophin-3 receptor gene (also known as TRKQ. Analysis of mRNA revealed the expression of ETV6-NTRK3 chimaeric transcripts in all three CFS tumours analysed. These were not detected in ATFS or infantile fibromatosis (IFB), a histologically similar but benign fibroblastic proliferation occurring in the same age-group as CFS. ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcripts encode the helix-loop-helix (HLH) protein dimerization domain of ETV6 fused to the protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) domain of NTRK3. Our studies indicate that a chimaeric PTK is expressed in CFS and this may contribute to onco-genesis by dysregulation of NTRK3 signal transduction pathways. Moreover, ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusions provide a potential diagnostic marker for CFS.

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Correspondence to Poul H.B. Sorensen.

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Knezevich, S., McFadden, D., Tao, W. et al. A novel ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion in congenital fibrosarcoma. Nat Genet 18, 184–187 (1998).

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