Myc translocations in B cell and plasma cell neoplasms

DNA Repair (Amst). 2006 Sep 8;5(9-10):1213-24. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2006.05.017. Epub 2006 Jul 11.


Chromosomal translocations that join the cellular oncogene Myc (c-myc) with immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain (Igh) or light-chain (Igk, Igl) loci are widely believed to be the crucial initiating oncogenic events in the development of B cell and plasma cell neoplasms in three mammalian species: Burkitt lymphoma (BL) in human beings, plasmacytoma (PCT) in mice, and immunocytoma in rats. Among the Myc-Ig translocations found in these neoplasms, mouse PCT T(12;15)(Igh-Myc) is of special interest because it affords a uniquely useful model system to study the fundamental outstanding questions on the mechanisms, genetics, and biological consequences of Myc translocations. Mouse T(12;15) is the direct counterpart of the human BL t(8;14)(q24;q32) translocation and thus of great relevance for human cancer. Mouse T(12;15) is the only cancer-associated translocation in mice that occurs with high incidence, spontaneity, and cell-type specificity. Due to the development of PCR methods for the detection of the underlying reciprocal Myc-Igh junction fragments, it is now known that mouse T(12;15) can be a dynamic process that begins with the genetic exchange of Myc and the Igh switch mu region (Smu), progresses by class switch recombination (CSR) just 3' of the translocation break site, and then undergoes further clonal diversification by micro-deletions in the junction flanks. The molecular pathway that subverts CSR to mediate trans-chromosomal joining of Myc and Smu (translocation origin) and secondary modification of Myc-Igh junctions (translocation "remodeling") has not been elucidated, but recent evidence indicates that it includes CSR factors, such as the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), that may also be involved in the ongoing neoplastic progression of the translocation-bearing tumor precursor. Transgenic mouse models of T(12;15)/t(8;14), including newly developed "iMyc" gene-insertion mice, will be useful in elucidating the role of these CSR factors in the progression of Myc-induced B cell tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain
  • Genes, myc*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Plasmacytoma / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Translocation, Genetic*