Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans COL1A1-PDGFB fusion is identified in virtually all dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans cases when investigated by newly developed multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization assays

Hum Pathol. 2008 Feb;39(2):184-93. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.06.009. Epub 2007 Oct 24.


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a cutaneous, locally aggressive spindle cell tumor of intermediate malignancy. Tumor cells are reactive for CD34 and characterized by a t(17;22) translocation or a supernumerary ring chromosome that results in the fusion of exon 2 of PDGFB to various exons of the COL1A1 gene. We developed a multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay to detect fusion transcripts for all possible COL1A1 breakpoints. Twenty-seven formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded DFSP cases were analyzed using 18 COL1A1 forward primers and 1 exon 2 PDGFB reverse primer. Sequence analysis was performed to definitively characterize breakpoints. Results were correlated with histology, immunohistochemistry, PDGFB break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis, and cytogenetics when available. Fusion transcripts were detected by RT-PCR in all but one DFSP case. Sequencing revealed a PDGFB exon 2 breakpoint in all cases. COL1A1 breakpoints were in exons 7 (1 patient), 10 (1), 29 (2), 40 (1), 46 (3), and 49 (2), and intronic between exons 13:14 (1), 26:27 (2), 30:31 (1) 33:34 (1), 43:44 (7), 45:46 (1), and 46:47 (1). Three novel COL1A1 breakpoints were identified, intronic between exons 13:14 (1), 30:31 (1) and in exon 49 (2). There was no correlation found between breakpoints and age, sex, or histologic variants. Using this sensitive multiplex RT-PCR assay in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found COL1A1-PDGFB rearrangements appear more prevalent in DFSP than previously reported. Its detection may be particularly helpful in the differential diagnosis of atypical, fibrosarcomatous, and metastatic DFSP.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / genetics*
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / metabolism
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • COLIA1-PDGFB fusion protein, human
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion