MYB and MYBL1 in adenoid cystic carcinoma: diversity in the mode of genomic rearrangement and transcripts

Mod Pathol. 2018 Jun;31(6):934-946. doi: 10.1038/s41379-018-0008-8. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


MYB-NFIB and MYBL1-NFIB have been reported in ~60% of adenoid cystic carcinoma cases, but driver alterations in the remaining ~40% of adenoid cystic carcinoma remain unclear. We examined 100 adenoid cystic carcinoma cases for MYB and MYBL1 locus rearrangements by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with originally designed probe sets using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded materials. Approximately one-third of samples were also analyzed by fusion transcript-specific RT-PCR and capture RNA sequencing. In the 27 cases with frozen materials, MYB-NFIB and MYBL1-NFIB fusion transcripts were detected in 9 (33%) and 6 cases (22%) by RT-PCR, respectively. Meanwhile, high expression of MYB (18 cases, 67%) or MYBL1 (9 cases, 33%) was detected in all 27 cases in a mutually exclusive manner, regardless of its form (full-length, truncation, or fusion transcript). Interestingly, genomic rearrangements around the corresponding highly-expressed gene were observed in all 27 cases by FISH, suggesting a causative relationship between genomic rearrangements and gene expression. Among the 100 cases, including additional 73 cases, 97 harbored genomic rearrangements in the MYB (73 cases) or MYBL1 locus (24 cases) including 10 cases with atypical FISH patterns undetectable through ordinary split FISH approaches: breakpoints far distant from MYB (5 cases) and a small NFIB locus insertion into the MYB (3 cases) or MYBL1 locus (2 cases). In clinicopathological analyses, histological grade, primary tumor size, and lymph node metastasis were identified as prognostic factors, whereas MYB/MYBL1 rearrangements were not, but were associated with histological grade. In the present study, MYB or MYBL1 locus rearrangement was detected in nearly all adenoid cystic carcinoma cases, and therefore it would be a good diagnostic marker for adenoid cystic carcinoma. However, fusion transcript-specific RT-PCR for MYB-NFIB and MYBL1-NFIB and ordinary split FISH assays for MYB and MYBL1 were less sensitive, and thus detection methods should be judiciously designed because of the diversity of rearrangement modes in adenoid cystic carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myb / genetics*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • MYB protein, human
  • MYBL1 protein, human
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myb
  • Trans-Activators