EWSR1-CREB1 is the predominant gene fusion in angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2007 Dec;46(12):1051-60. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20491.


The molecular hallmark of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma (AFH) is not well defined, with only six cases with specific gene fusions reported to date, consisting of either FUS-ATF1 or EWSR1-ATF1. To address this, we investigated the presence of FUS-ATF1, EWSR1-ATF1, and the highly related EWSR1-CREB1 fusion in a group of nine AFHs. All cases were subjected to RT-PCR for EWSR1-ATF1 and EWSR1-CREB1. FISH for EWSR1 and FUS rearrangements was performed in most cases. Transcriptional profiling was performed in three tumors and their gene expression was compared to five clear cell sarcomas expressing either the EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 fusion. By RT-PCR, eight out of nine tumors showed the presence of the EWSR1-CREB1 fusion, while one had an EWSR1-ATF1 transcript. FISH showed evidence of EWSR1 rearrangement in seven out of eight cases. Karyotypic analysis performed in one tumor showed a t(2;22)(q33;q12). High transcript levels were noted for TFE3 in AFH tumors, while overexpression of genes involved in melanogenesis, such as MITF, GP100, and MET was noted in somatic clear cell sarcomas. We report for the first time the presence of EWSR1-CREB1 in AFH, which now appears to be the most frequent gene fusion in this tumor. EWSR1-CREB1 is a novel translocation recently described in clear cell sarcoma of the GI tract. EWSR1-ATF1, identified in some AFH cases, is the most common genetic abnormality in soft tissue clear cell sarcoma. Thus, identical fusions involving ATF1 and CREB1 are found in two distinct sarcomas, which may be able to transform two different types of mesenchymal precursor cells, unlike most other sarcoma gene fusions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Fusion*
  • Histiocytoma, Malignant Fibrous / genetics*
  • Histiocytoma, Malignant Fibrous / pathology
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • CREB1 protein, human
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • EWSR1 protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Protein EWS
  • RNA-Binding Proteins