Translocations in epithelial cancers

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Dec;1796(2):201-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 May 4.


Genomic translocations leading to the expression of chimeric transcripts characterize several hematologic, mesenchymal and epithelial malignancies. While several gene fusions have been linked to essential molecular events in hematologic malignancies, the identification and characterization of recurrent chimeric transcripts in epithelial cancers has been limited. However, the recent discovery of the recurrent gene fusions in prostate cancer has sparked a revitalization of the quest to identify novel rearrangements in epithelial malignancies. Here, the molecular mechanisms of gene fusions that drive several epithelial cancers and the recent technological advances that increase the speed and reliability of recurrent gene fusion discovery are explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Fusion*
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Humans
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • JAZF1 protein, human
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • SUZ12 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase