Chromosomal rearrangements involving the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene at 11q23 are frequent in adult and childhood acute leukemia and have been associated with an unfavorable prognosis. Recent evidence suggests that MLL gene partners may influence prognosis. Five translocations account for ∼80% of MLL rearrangements: t(4;11)(q21;q23), AFF1/MLL; t(6;11)(q27;q23), MLLT4/MLL; t(9;11)(p22;q23) , MLLT3/MLL; t(11; 19)(q23;p13.1), MLL/ELL; and t(11;19)(q23;p13.3), MLL/MLLT1. We have designed dual-color, double-fusion fluorescence in situ hybridization (D-FISH) probe sets to identify these translocations. A blinded study was performed for each probe set using 25 normal bone marrow samples, 25 t(4;11), 20 t(6;11), 20 t(9;11), 18 t(11; 19p13.1), and 20 t(11;19p13.3) leukemia specimens as defined by chromosome analysis. The findings demonstrated abnormal D-FISH results for 24 of 25 AFF1/MLL, 19 of 20 MLLT4/MLL, all 20 MLLT3/MLL, all 18 MLL/ELL, and all 20 MLL/MLLT1 samples, confirming the efficacy of these D-FISH assays in detecting these common MLL/partner translocations. Our D-FISH assays were more accurate than chromosome analysis at distinguishing disruption of 19p13.1/ELL from that of 19p13.3/MLLT1. We also demonstrated a statistically significant increase in complex/unbalanced MLL/partner translocations occurring in pediatric patients versus adult patients (P = 0.02). A normal cutoff of 0.6% was established, suggesting an application for these assays in minimal residual disease detection and disease monitoring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Medicine