Identification of SETD2-NF1 fusion gene in a pediatric spindle cell tumor with the chromosomal translocation t(3;17)(p21;q12)

Oncol Rep. 2017 Jun;37(6):3181-3188. doi: 10.3892/or.2017.5628. Epub 2017 May 4.


Spindle cell tumors are clinically heterogeneous but morphologically similar neoplasms. The term refers to the tumor cells' long and slender microscopic appearance. Distinct subgroups of spindle cell tumors are characterized by chromosomal translocations and also fusion genes. Other spindle cell tumors exist that have not yet been found to have characteristic, let alone pathognomonic, genetic or pathogenetic features. Continuous examination of spindle cell tumors is likely to reveal other subgroups that may, in the future, be seen to correspond to meaningful clinical differences and may even be therapeutically decisive. We analyzed genetically a pediatric spindle cell tumor. Karyotyping showed the tumor cells to carry a t(3;17)(p21;q12) chromosomal translocation whereas RNA sequencing identified a SETD2-NF1 fusion gene caused by the translocation. RT-PCR together with Sanger sequencing verified the presence of the above-mentioned fusion transcript. Interphase FISH analysis confirmed the existence of the chimeric gene and showed that there was no reciprocal fusion. The fusion transcript codes for a protein in which the last 114 amino acids of SETD2, i.e., the entire Set2 Rpb1 interacting (SRI) domain of SETD2, are replaced by 30 amino acids encoded by the NF1 sequence. The result would be similar to that seen with truncating SETD2 mutations in leukemias. Absence of the SRI domain would result in inability to recruit SETD2 to its target gene locus through binding to the phosphor-C-terminal repeat domain of elongating RNA polymerase II and may affect H3K36 methylation. Alternatively, loss of one of two functional SETD2 alleles might be the crucial tumorigenic factor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Neurofibromin 1 / genetics*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Sarcoma / genetics*
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Translocation, Genetic / genetics


  • Neurofibromin 1
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • SETD2 protein, human