Immunoglobulin and T cell receptor gene rearrangements in human lymphoma and leukemia

M. E. Williams, D. J. Innes, M. J. Borowitz, M. A. Lovell, S. H. Swerdlow, P. E. Hurtubise, R. K. Brynes, W. C. Chan, G. E. Byrne, C. C. Whitcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


DNA samples from blood leukocytes or tumor biopsies of 45 patients with phenotypic B or T cell neoplasms were analyzed for rearrangements of the immunoglobulin (Ig) or T cell receptor (TCR) genes by Southern blot hybridization analysis. Rearrangements of the Ig heavy chain joining region genes (J(H)) were present in DNA from each of 28 B cell lymphomas and leukemias; 14 of 21 of these tumors also had rearrangements of the Ig kappa light chain joining (J(K)) or deleting element (K(Del)) genes. Conversely, 16 of 17 T cell lymphomas and leukemias had rearranged TCR beta chain genes. One B cell and one T cell tumor had rearrangements of both Ig and TCR genes. There was a strong correlation between the rearrangements of specific genes and the immunophenotype of the tumor: (1) J(H) rearrangement without TCR beta chain rearrangement occurred only in B cell tumors; (2) TCR beta chain rearrangement with or without J(H) rearrangement occurred only in T cell tumors, with one exception; and (3) J(K) and K(Del) rearrangements were found only in B cell tumors. Thus, rearrangements of the Ig heavy and light chain genes and the TCR beta chain genes were found to be highly sensitive markers of monoclonal human lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias, with the type of gene rearrangements well correlated with the cell lineage of these neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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