Molecular analysis of a new translocation, t(X;14)(q28;q11), in premalignancy and in leukaemia associated with ataxia telangiectasia.
Thick J., Sherrington PD., Fisch P., Taylor AM., Rabbitts TH.
The disease ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a multifaceted disorder in which patients have an increased chance of developing a T-cell leukaemia, often with abnormalities of chromosome 14, but sometimes with rare translocations, like t(X;14)(q28;q11). We describe the cloning of the breakpoint of one such novel t(X;14) from an A-T patient. The translocation breaks within the T cell receptor alpha chain gene on chromosome 14 at band q11 and in a region of the X chromosome, within about 1 Mb of the telomere of the long arm. The patient subsequently developed T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia (T-PLL), and molecular examination showed that the tumour cells carried the same t(X;14) breakpoint as that cloned from the premalignant cells. The same breakpoint could be detected in blood samples taken as much as 5 years prior to diagnosis of T-PLL. This suggests a role for the abnormality in the tumour development in this patient but implies that other mutational events were necessary for overt disease to become manifest.