Molecular cytogenetic characterization of TCF3 (E2A)/19p13.3 rearrangements in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Kerry E. Barber, Christine J. Harrison, Zoe J. Broadfield, Adam R.M. Stewart, Sarah L. Wright, Mary Martineau, Jon C. Strefford, Anthony V. Moorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The t(1;19)(q23;p13.3) is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) and usually gives rise to the TCF3-PBX1 fusion gene. Additional rare, and sometimes cytogenetically cryptic, translocations involving the TCF3 gene have also been described. Using a dual color split-signal fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probe, we have investigated the involvement of this gene in a series of BCP-ALLs harboring 19p13 translocations, as well as an unselected patient cohort. The TCF3 gene was shown to be involved in the majority of cases with a cytogenetically visible t(1;19) translocation, while the remaining TCF3-negative ALLs demonstrated breakpoint heterogeneity. Although most "other" 19p13 translocations did not produce a split-signal FISH pattern, a novel t(13;19)(q14;p13) involving TCF3 was discovered. A prospective screen of 161 children with BCP-ALL revealed a cryptic t(12;19)(p13;p13), another novel TCF3 rearrangement, and a series of patients with submicroscopic deletions of TCF3. These results demonstrate the utility of a split-signal FISH strategy in confirming the involvement of the TCF3 gene in 19p13 rearrangements and in identifying novel and cryptic TCF3 translocations. In addition to its role as a fusion partner gene, we propose that TCF3 can also act as a tumor suppressor gene in BCP-ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-486
Number of pages9
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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