Human germinal center B cell tumors retain the ability of their nontransformed counterparts to somatically hypermutate Ig V genes by nucleotide substitution. Among a survey of 60 primary previously untreated, clonal, follicular lymphomas we have identified a rare VH rearrangement variant and two other in-frame nucleotide insertion/deletion variants within complementarity-determining region III of the Ig heavy chain. The neoplastic origin of the VH rearrangement variant was directly demonstrated in cells isolated by microdissection from malignant follicles. In all three cases a common clonal origin for the variants was demonstrated by complementarity-determining region III nucleotide sequence homology and shared somatic mutations in germ-line encoded positions in framework region IV. The monoclonal nature of the tumors was independently confirmed by demonstrating a single t(14;18) translocation breakpoint in the two cases with a detectable translocation. All the variants occurred in functional VH rearrangements, which in two cases were directly shown to encode functional Ab molecules. Both recombination-activating genes 1 and 2 were expressed in lymph node tumor cells containing the VH rearrangement variant, although recombination-activating gene expression among a panel of lymphomas was not limited to this variant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy