Cytogenetic abnormalities in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2000;42(3):5-10.


Trisomy of chromosome 12 is one of the commonest cytogenetic abnormalities in the karyotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is associated with atypical morphology of lymphocytes, progressing disease and poor survival. A high incidence abnormality in the B-cell CLL is deletion of chromosome 13 (13q14) detected by using modern diagnostic methods such as southern blot hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization. It occurs in 51% of the CLL patients and in as much as 70% in mantle-cell lymphoma. The deletion of 13q14.3 affects a locus telomeric to the RB1 gene (retinoblastoma gene) and the marker D13S25 which bear relation to a candidate tumour suppressor gene. Also common are the chromosome 14 abnormalities which are expressed as the translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) and which correlate with a high leukocytes count, adverse response to cytostatic therapy and increased risk of prolymphocytic proliferation. The oncogene BCL-1 is activated in this translocation. Deletions of the long arm of chromosome 18 (18q21)(q32;q13.1) activate the BCL-2 oncogene, while the translocation t(14;19)(q32;q13.1) activates the BCL-3 oncogene. Essential role in the pathogenesis of CLL is played by the aberrations in chromosome 17 and the p53 mutations (17p13.1). The gene p53 is defined as a tumour suppressor gene; mutations of this gene leads to a CLL characterized with rapid progression, aggressive course, poor prognosis and low survival. The deletions in chromosome 7 are associated with the multidrug resistance gene which causes resistance to doxorubicin, vinblastine and colchicine. All these abnormalities are characteristic of the B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In the T-cell leukemia characteristic deletions are 11q22-q23, a.14q23.1, as well as the inversion inv(14)(11q32) and some rarer aberrations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Cytogenetic Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology