Intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21) may arise from a breakage-fusion-bridge cycle

Hazel M. Robinson, Christine J. Harrison, Anthony V. Moorman, Ilse Chudoba, Jonathan C. Strefford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21), involving amplification of the RUNX1 gene and duplication of chromosome 21, dup(21q), defines a new cytogenetic subgroup in B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with a poor prognosis. Characterization of this abnormality has become vital to ensure that the most accurate detection method is used. We have previously defined common regions of amplification and deletion of chromosome 21 in these patients, although the level and extent of amplification within the amplicon was highly variable. This study, using interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with chromosome 21 locus specific probes, substantiated these findings in a large series of patients and confirmed that the amplicon always included RUNX1. Thus, FISH with probes directed to the RUNX1 gene remains the most reliable detection method. Metaphase FISH, supported by G- and multiple color chromosomal banding (mBAND) revealed the patient specific morphology and genetic profile of the dup(21q) chromosomes, as well as the complexity of the intrachromosomal changes giving rise to them. These findings suggested that iAMP21 had arisen from a breakage-fusion-bridge cycle: a mechanism previously described in tumors, which we report for the first time in ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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