Mutations of the 5′ noncoding region of the BCL-6 gene in primary bone lymphomas
Twenty-seven lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) derived from distinct anatomical sites were tested for the presence of genetic lesions commonly involved in B-cell lymphomagenesis, including activation of proto-oncogenes (BCL-1, BCL-2, BCL-6, and c-MYC), disruption of tumor suppressor loci (p53, 6q), and infection by viruses [Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Kaposi's sarcoma-herpesvirus/human herpesvirus-8 (KSHV/HHV-8)]. Sixteen low-grade and 11 high-grade MALT-lymphomas were included in the study. The presence of genetic lesions was tested by a combination of molecular approaches, including Southern blot hybridization, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism followed by DNA direct sequencing. Alterations of BCL-1, BCL-2, or c-MYC, as well as infection by KSHV/HHV-8, scored negative in all MALT-lymphomas analysed. Conversely, rearrangements of BCL-6 and mutations of p53 clustered with a fraction of high-grade MALT-lymphomas. Deletions of 6q occurred in selected cases of both low- and high-grade MALT-lymphomas, whereas a monoclonal infection by EBV was restricted to one single patient. These data corroborate the notion that the molecular pathogenesis of MALT-lymphomas differs substantially from that of nodal B-cell lymphomas. Occasionally, however, a proportion of high-grade MALT-lymphomas may harbor selected genetic lesions among the ones commonly involved in nodal B-cell lymphomagenesis.