Transcripts of the npm-alk fusion gene in anaplastic large cell lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and reactive lymphoid lesions
Elmberger PG, Lozano MD, Weisenburger DD, Sanger W, Chan WC.
Department of Pathology and Cytology, Karolinska Institute and Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and Hodgkin's disease (HD) have some pathologic and immunohistochemical similarities, and a histogenetic relationship between them has been suggested by some investigators.
By cytogenetic study, the t(2;5)(p23;q35) translocation appears to be unique for ALCL. The breakpoints of the t(2;5)(p23;q35) have recently been cloned and are reported to involve a novel tyrosine kinase gene, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (alk), on chromosome 2 and the nucleophosmin gene (npm) on chromosome 5. Therefore, we studied the frequency of npm-alk translocation in ALCL using a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay.
We also studied HD and a variety of reactive lymphoid lesions since there is contradictory information in the literature on the occurrence of the npm-alk rearrangement in HD. We detected npm-alk hybrid mRNA in 8 of 22 cases of ALCL (36%), but none of the 21 cases of HD or the 11 cases with reactive lesions contained amplifiable template. All positive ALCL had the T or indeterminate phenotype and occurred in young adults or children. There was very good correlation between a cytogenetically detectable t(2;5) and a positive signal by RT-PCR.
Our results indicate a selective but relatively infrequent association between the t(2;5) and ALCL of T or indeterminate phenotype, not shared with HD or reactive hyperplasia.
CITATION Blood 1995 Nov 1;86(9):3517-21