Frequent mutation of bcl-6 proto-oncogene in high grade, but not low grade, MALT lymphomas of the gastrointestinal tract
Gaidano, G.; Capello, D.; Gloghini, A.; Fassone, L.; Vivenza, D.; Ariatti, C.; Migliazza, A.; Saglio, G.; Carbone, A.
Haematologica 84(7): 582-588
ISSN/ISBN: 0390-6078 PMID: 10406897 Accession: 010683013
Background and Objective. Knowledge regarding the molecular pathogenesis and histogenesis of gastrointestinal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (MALT-NHL) is limited. Mutations of BCL-6, a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in lymphoid development, occur frequently in lymphomas and represent a histogenetic marker of B-cell transit through the germinal center. The distribution of BCL-6 mutations in gastrointestinal MALT-NHL was analyzed in this study. Design and Methods. This study was based on 26 gastrointestinal MALT-NHL, including 16 cases of low grade histology and 10 cases of high grade histology. Mutations of BCL-6 were investigated by a combination of polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism and DNA direct sequencing analysis. Results. Mutations of BCL-6 occurred in 6/10 high grade MALT-NHL, whereas they were absent from all low grade cases tested (n = 16; p = 0.001). MALT-NHL harboring BCL-6 mutations included 5 cases of gastric MALT-NHL and 1 case of jejunal MALT-NHL. Mutations were predominantly represented by single nucleotide substitutions which were multiple in most cases. All sequence alterations were unique to individual cases of gastrointestinal MALT-NHL. Interpretation and Conclusions. Mutations of BCL-6 occur frequently in high grade gastrointestinal MALT-NHL and display characteristics similar to those of BCL-6 mutations harbored by other B-cell lymphomas. The association of high grade MALT-NHL with BCL-6 mutations corroborates their histogenetic derivation from germinal center-related B-cells and may be of potential pathogenetic relevance for these disorders.