Identification of CARS-ALK fusion in primary and metastatic lesions of an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor

Larisa V. Debelenko, Diane C. Arthur, Svetlana D. Pack, Lee J. Helman, David S. Schrump, Maria Tsokos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a rare childhood neoplasm. The natural history of this disease is poorly understood. Recently chromosomal rearrangements involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene have been implicated in this tumor. We have studied a case of ALK-positive soft tissue IMT showing clinical and morphologic features of malignancy. Interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated ALK rearrangements in both primary and metastatic lesions. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5′RACE) identified cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase (CARS) gene fused to ALK, which predicts an in-frame chimeric protein with the preserved functional catalytic domain of ALK at the C terminus. Amplification and sequencing of tumor DNA confirmed the breakpoint at the genomic level. Restriction analysis of DNA from primary soft tissue and recurrent lung tumors showed identical patterns, indicating the same clonal origin of both lesions. Western blot analysis with C-terminus ALK antibody showed expression of an aberrantly sized chimeric protein of approximately 130 kd in tumor tissue. This is the second case of IMT demonstrating CARS as the ALK fusion partner, which confirms the recurring involvement of ALK in IMT by a common genetic mechanism. Moreover, identical clonality of separate lesions involving different sites supports metastasis in IMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1265
Number of pages11
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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