Infrequent bax gene mutations in B-cell lymphomas

J Pathol. 1998 Dec;186(4):378-82. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199812)186:4<378::AID-PATH203>3.0.CO;2-5.


Mutation of the bax gene has been reported previously in lymphoid cell lines. In vitro experiments have shown that alterations in promoter and coding sequences of the gene abolish its apoptosis initiation function, which is considered crucial for tumour development. To assess bax gene mutations in lymphomagenesis, polymerase chain reaction-based single strand conformation polymorphism analysis (PCR-SSCP) and direct sequencing were used to detect altered sequences in the promoter region and all the six exons and their flanking sequences of the gene. Nodal and extranodal B-cell lymphomas (n = 112) including follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma and low- and high-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas were studied. Sequence alterations were found in 11 cases. Nine also showed the same altered sequences in corresponding non-tumour control tissue samples, indicating polymorphism. In the remaining two cases, sequence alterations (in exons 3 and 6) which altered the bax open reading frame were observed only in tumour tissues, indicating tumour-specific point mutation. These results suggest that inhibition of apoptosis through bax gene mutations is unlikely to be a common event in B-cell lymphoma, at least in the major types of nodal and extranodal B-cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • BAX protein, human
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein