Translocations involving anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)

Justus Duyster, Ren Yuan Bai, Stephan W. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) comprises a group of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) that were first described in 1985 by Stein and co-workers and are characterized by the expression of the CD30/Ki-1 antigen (Stein et al., 1985). Approximately half of these lymphomas are associated with a typical chromosomal translocation, t(2;5)(p23;q35). Much confusion about the exact classification and clinicopathological features of this subgroup of NHL was clarified with the identification of NPM-ALK (nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase) as the oncogene created by the t(2;5) (Morris et al., 1994). With the discovery of NPM-ALK as the specific lymphoma gene mutation, this NHL subtype could be redefined on the molecular level. This achievement was enhanced by the availability of specific antibodies that recognize ALK fusion proteins in paraffin-embedded lymphoma tissues. Several excellent recent renews have summarized the histopathological and molecular findings of ALCL and their use in the classification of this lymphoma entity (Anagnostopoulos and Stein, 2000; Benharroch et al., 1998; Drexler et al., 2000; Foss et al., 2000; Gogusev and Nezelof, 1998; Kadin and Morris, 1998; Ladanyi, 1997; Morris et al., 2001; Shiota and Mori, 1996; Skinnider et al., 1999; Stein et al., 2000). This review will focus on the molecular function and signal transduction pathways activated by ALK fusion oncogenes, with recent advances and possible clinical implications to be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5623-5637
Number of pages15
Issue number40 REV. ISS. 4
StatePublished - Sep 10 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • ALCL
  • ALK
  • IMT
  • Pleiotrophin
  • Variant ALK fusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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