Cytogenetic characterization of complex karyotypes in seven established melanoma cell lines by multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization and DAPI banding

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2002 Mar;133(2):134-41. doi: 10.1016/s0165-4608(01)00584-2.


We report the use of multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH) to resolve chromosomal aberrations in seven established melanoma cell lines with hypotriploid to hypertetraploid complex karyotypes. By simultaneous identification of all human chromosomes in single FISH experiments using a set of 52 directly labeled, whole chromosome painting probes, cryptic chromosomal translocations and the origin of unclear chromosomal material in structural rearranged and marker chromosomes could be identified, refining the tumor karyotypes in all seven cell lines. The number of structural aberrations in each cell line assigned with combined M-FISH and DAPI banding analysis ranged from 15 to 45. Altogether, 275 breakpoints could be assigned to defined chromosomal regions or bands. The chromosome arms 1p, 6q, 7p, 9p, and 11q which are known to be nonrandomly associated with melanoma tumorigenesis, were frequently involved in chromosomal breaks and/or copy number changes. This study also demonstrated the practical usefulness of combining M-FISH with conventional cytogenetic banding techniques for the characterization of complex tumor karyotypes with massive genomic alterations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Division
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosome Banding*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / physiology*


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Fluorescent Dyes