Erroneous class switching and false VDJ recombination: molecular dissection of t(8;14)/MYC-IGH translocations in Burkitt-type lymphoblastic leukemia/B-cell lymphoma.
ABSTRACT: The chromosomal translocation t(8;14)(q24;q32) with juxtaposition of MYC to enhancer elements in the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) gene locus is the genetic hallmark of the majority of Burkitt lymphoma and a subset of Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients. Around 3% of adult B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients show this aberration. Flow cytometry mostly reveals a "mature B-ALL" or "Burkitt-type" ALL immunophenotype. Using long-distance PCR for t(8;14)/MYC-IGH fusion, we investigated bone marrow, peripheral blood and a few other samples with suspected Burkitt-ALL or mature B-ALL and identified 133 MYC-IGH-positive cases. The location of the chromosomal breaks in the IGH joining and the 8 different switch regions was determined using a set of long-distance PCRs. The chromosomal breakpoints with the adjacent MYC regions on 8q24 were characterized by direct sequencing in 49 cases. The distribution of chromosomal breaks among the IGH joining and switch regions was the following: JH 23.3%, M 21.8%, G1 15.0%, G2 7.5%, G3 3.8%, G4 4.5%, A1 12.8%, A2 3.8%, E 7.5%. Two breakpoint clusters near MYC were delineated. There was no clear correlation between the degree of somatic hypermutation and the chromosomal break locations. Epstein Barr virus was detected in 5 cases (4%). This detailed and extensive molecular analysis illustrates the molecular complexity of the MYC-IGH translocations and the detected distribution of breakpoints provides additional evidence that this translocation results from failed switch and VDJ recombinations. This study may serve as a model for the analysis of other IGH translocations in B-cell lymphoma.
Project description:Previous studies have implicated activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in B-cell translocations but have failed to identify any association between their chromosomal breakpoints and known AID target sequences. Analysis of 56 unclustered IgH-CCND1 translocations in mantle cell lymphoma across the ~ 344-kb bcl-1 breakpoint locus demonstrates that half of the CCND1 breaks are near CpG dinucleotides. Most of these CpG breaks are at CGC motifs, and half of the remaining breaks are near WGCW, both known AID targets. These findings provide the strongest evidence to date that AID initiates chromosomal breaks in translocations that occur in human bone marrow B-cell progenitors. We also identify WGCW breaks at the MYC locus in Burkitt lymphoma translocations and murine IgH-MYC translocations, both of which arise in mature germinal center B cells. Finally, we propose a developmental model to explain the transition from CpG breaks in early human B-cell progenitors to WGCW breaks in later stage B cells.
Project description:The Myc-deregulating chromosomal T(12;15)(Igh-Myc) translocation, the hallmark mutation of inflammation- and interleukin 6-dependent mouse plasmacytoma (PCT), is the premier model of cancer-associated chromosomal translocations because it is the only translocation in mice that occurs spontaneously (B lymphocyte lineage) and with predictably high incidence (approximately 85% of PCT), and has a direct counterpart in humans: Burkitt lymphoma t(8;14)(q24;q32) translocation. Here, we report on the development of a genetic system for the detection of T(12;15)(Igh-Myc) translocations in plasma cells of a mouse strain in which an enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP)-encoding reporter gene has been targeted to Myc. Four of the PCTs that developed in the newly generated translocation reporter mice, designated iGFP(5'Myc), expressed GFP consequent to naturally occurring T(12;15) translocation. GFP expression did not interfere with tumor development or the deregulation of Myc on derivative 12 of translocation, der (12), because the reporter gene was allocated to the reciprocal product of translocation, der (15). Although the described reporter gene approach requires refinement before T(12;15) translocations can be quantitatively detected in vivo, including in B lymphocyte lineage cells that have not yet completed malignant transformation, our findings provide proof of principle that reporter gene tagging of oncogenes in gene-targeted mice can be used to elucidate unresolved questions on the occurrence, distribution and trafficking of cells that have acquired cancer-causing chromosomal translocations of great relevance for humans.
Project description:Numerous B-cell lymphomas feature translocations linking oncogenes to different locations in the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus. During Burkitt lymphoma (BL), IgH breakpoints for c-myc translocation stand either close to JH segments or within switch regions. Transcription, accessibility, and remodeling of the IgH locus are under the control of the 2 potent cis-acting enhancer elements: E? and the 3' regulatory region (3'RR). To ensure their respective contributions to oncogene deregulation in the context of the endogenous IgH locus, we studied transgenic mice harboring a knock-in of c-myc in various positions of the IgH locus (3' to JH segments, 5' to C? with E? deletion and C?). The observed spectrum of tumors, kinetics of emergence, and transcriptome analysis provide strong evidence that both E? and 3'RR deregulate c-myc and cooperate together to promote B-cell lymphomagenesis. Transgenics mimicking endemic BL (with c-myc placed 3' to JH segments) exhibited the highest rate of B-cell lymphoma emergence, the highest Ki67 index of proliferation, and the highest transcriptomic similarities to human BL. The 3'RR enhancer alone deregulated c-myc and initiated the development of BL-like lymphomas, suggesting that its targeting would be of therapeutic interest to reduce c-myc oncogenicity in vivo.
Project description:Human Burkitt lymphomas are divided into two main clinical variants: the endemic form, affecting African children infected with malaria and the Epstein-Barr virus, and the sporadic form, distributed across the rest of the world. However, whereas sporadic translocations decapitate Myc from 5' proximal regulatory elements, most endemic events occur hundreds of kilobases away from Myc. The origin of these rearrangements and how they deregulate oncogenes at such distances remain unclear. We here recapitulate endemic Burkitt lymphoma-like translocations in plasmacytomas from uracil N-glycosylase and activation-induced cytidine deaminase-deficient mice. Mapping of translocation breakpoints using an acetylated histone H3 lysine 9 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing approach reveals Igh fusions up to ?350 kb upstream of Myc or the related oncogene Mycn. A comprehensive analysis of epigenetic marks, PolII recruitment, and transcription in tumor cells demonstrates that the 3' Igh enhancer (E?) vastly remodels ?450 kb of chromatin into translocated sequences, leading to significant polymerase occupancy and constitutive oncogene expression. We show that this long-range epigenetic reprogramming is directly proportional to the physical interaction of E? with translocated sites. Our studies thus uncover the extent of epigenetic remodeling by Ig 3' enhancers and provide a rationale for the long-range deregulation of translocated oncogenes in endemic Burkitt lymphomas. The data also shed light on the origin of endemic-like chromosomal rearrangements.
Project description:Chromosomal translocations involving the immunoglobulin switch region are a hallmark feature of B-cell malignancies. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which primary B cells acquire or guard against these lesions. Here we find that translocations between c-myc and the IgH locus (Igh) are induced in primary B cells within hours of expression of the catalytically active form of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), an enzyme that deaminates cytosine to produce uracil in DNA. Translocation also requires uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), which removes uracil from DNA to create abasic sites that are then processed to double-strand breaks. The pathway that mediates aberrant joining of c-myc and Igh differs from intrachromosomal repair during immunoglobulin class switch recombination in that it does not require histone H2AX, p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) or the non-homologous end-joining protein Ku80. In addition, translocations are inhibited by the tumour suppressors ATM, Nbs1, p19 (Arf) and p53, which is consistent with activation of DNA damage- and oncogenic stress-induced checkpoints during physiological class switching. Finally, we demonstrate that accumulation of AID-dependent, IgH-associated chromosomal lesions is not sufficient to enhance c-myc-Igh translocations. Our findings reveal a pathway for surveillance and protection against AID-dependent DNA damage, leading to chromosomal translocations.
Project description:Variable, diversity and joining gene segment (V(D)J) recombination assembles immunoglobulin heavy or light chain (IgH or IgL) variable region exons in developing bone marrow B cells, whereas class switch recombination (CSR) exchanges IgH constant region exons in peripheral B cells. Both processes use directed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repaired by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Errors in either V(D)J recombination or CSR can initiate chromosomal translocations, including oncogenic IgH locus (Igh) to c-myc (also known as Myc) translocations of peripheral B cell lymphomas. Collaboration between these processes has also been proposed to initiate translocations. However, the occurrence of V(D)J recombination in peripheral B cells is controversial. Here we show that activated NHEJ-deficient splenic B cells accumulate V(D)J-recombination-associated breaks at the lambda IgL locus (Igl), as well as CSR-associated Igh breaks, often in the same cell. Moreover, Igl and Igh breaks are frequently joined to form translocations, a phenomenon associated with specific Igh-Igl co-localization. Igh and c-myc also co-localize in these cells; correspondingly, the introduction of frequent c-myc DSBs robustly promotes Igh-c-myc translocations. Our studies show peripheral B cells that attempt secondary V(D)J recombination, and determine a role for mechanistic factors in promoting recurrent translocations in tumours.
Project description:Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is the most common B-cell lymphoma in children. Within the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), we performed whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of 39 sporadic BL. Here, we unravel interaction of structural, mutational, and transcriptional changes, which contribute to MYC oncogene dysregulation together with the pathognomonic IG-MYC translocation. Moreover, by mapping IGH translocation breakpoints, we provide evidence that the precursor of at least a subset of BL is a B-cell poised to express IGHA. We describe the landscape of mutations, structural variants, and mutational processes, and identified a series of driver genes in the pathogenesis of BL, which can be targeted by various mechanisms, including IG-non MYC translocations, germline and somatic mutations, fusion transcripts, and alternative splicing.
Project description:Translocations involving an MYC gene (c >> N >>L) are very late tumor progression events and provide a paradigm for secondary translocations in multiple myeloma. Using a combination of fluorescent in situ hybridization and comparative genomic hybridization arrays (aCGH), we have identified rearrangements of an MYC gene in 40 of 43 independent myeloma cell lines. A majority of MYC translocations involve an Ig locus (IgH > Iglambda >> Igkappa), but the breakpoints only infrequently occur near or within switch regions or V(D)J sequences. Surprisingly, about 40% of MYC translocations do not involve an Ig locus. The MYC translocations mostly are nonreciprocal translocations or insertions, often with the involvement of three chromosomes and sometimes with associated duplication, amplification, inversion, and other associated chromosomal abnormalities. High-density aCGH analyses should facilitate the cloning of MYC breakpoints, enabling the determination of their structures and perhaps elucidating how rearrangements not involving an Ig gene cause dysregulation of an MYC gene.
Project description:B-cell malignancies, such as human Burkitt's lymphoma, often contain translocations that link c-myc or other proto-oncogenes to the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (IgH, encoded by Igh). The nature of elements that activate oncogenes within such translocations has been a long-standing question. Translocations within Igh involve DNA double-strand breaks initiated either by the RAG1/2 endonuclease during variable, diversity and joining gene segment (V(D)J) recombination, or by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID, also known as AICDA) during class switch recombination (CSR). V(D)J recombination in progenitor B (pro-B) cells assembles Igh variable region exons upstream of mu constant region (Cmu) exons, which are the first of several sets of C(H) exons ('C(H) genes') within a C(H) locus that span several hundred kilobases (kb). In mature B cells, CSR deletes Cmu and replaces it with a downstream C(H) gene. An intronic enhancer (iEmu) between the variable region exons and Cmu promotes V(D)J recombination in developing B cells. Furthermore, the Igh 3' regulatory region (Igh3'RR) lies downstream of the C(H) locus and modulates CSR by long-range transcriptional enhancement of C(H) genes. Transgenic mice bearing iEmu or Igh3'RR sequences fused to c-myc are predisposed to B lymphomas, demonstrating that such elements can confer oncogenic c-myc expression. However, in many B-cell lymphomas, Igh-c-myc translocations delete iEmu and place c-myc up to 200 kb upstream of the Igh3'RR. Here we address the oncogenic role of the Igh3'RR by inactivating it in two distinct mouse models for B-cell lymphoma with Igh-c-myc translocations. We show that the Igh3'RR is dispensable for pro-B-cell lymphomas with V(D)J recombination-initiated translocations, but is required for peripheral B-cell lymphomas with CSR-associated translocations. As the Igh3'RR is not required for CSR-associated Igh breaks or Igh-c-myc translocations in peripheral B-cell lymphoma progenitors, we conclude that this regulatory region confers oncogenic activity by long-range and developmental stage-specific activation of translocated c-myc genes.