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. 1990 Jan 11;322(2):77-82.
doi: 10.1056/NEJM199001113220202.

Deletions of Interferon Genes in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Deletions of Interferon Genes in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

M O Diaz et al. N Engl J Med. .
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Abstract

Structural rearrangements involving the short arm of chromosome 9, including bands 9p21 and 22, are found in the leukemia cells of 7 to 13 percent of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The interferon-alpha gene cluster and the interferon-beta 1 gene have been localized to this chromosomal region. We have previously demonstrated deletions of these genes in several cell lines established in vitro from patients with lymphoblastic leukemia. We report here homozygous or hemizygous deletions of the interferon-alpha and interferon-beta 1 genes in samples of leukemia cells from patients with lymphoblastic leukemia. Of 62 patients examined, 18 (29 percent) had such deletions. Four patients (7 percent) had homozygous deletions of the interferon-alpha gene cluster; of these, one also had a homozygous deletion and three had hemizygous deletions of the interferon-beta 1 gene. Fourteen patients (23 percent) had hemizygous deletions of both the interferon-alpha gene cluster and the interferon-beta 1 gene. In 8 of the 18 patients with deletions, the deletions of interferon genes were submicroscopic; in the 11 other patients, chromosomal rearrangements of 9p, including translocations or deletions, were visible on light microscopy. These chromosomal and molecular deletions are likely to be related to the loss of a tumor-suppressor gene (or genes) located on 9p, which may be an interferon gene or an unrelated but closely linked gene.

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