Cytogenetic and molecular genetic methods for chromosomal translocations detection with reference to the KMT2A/MLL gene

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Abstract

Acute leukemias (ALs) are often associated with chromosomal translocations, in particular, KMT2A/MLL gene rearrangements. Identification or confirmation of these translocations is carried out by a number of genetic and molecular methods, some of which are routinely used in clinical practice, while others are primarily used for research purposes. In the clinic, these methods serve to clarify diagnoses and monitor the course of disease and therapy. On the other hand, the identification of new translocations and the confirmation of known translocations are of key importance in the study of disease mechanisms and further molecular classification. There are multiple methods for the detection of rearrangements that differ in their principle of operation, the type of problem being solved, and the cost-result ratio. This review is intended to help researchers and clinicians studying AL and related chromosomal translocations to navigate this variety of methods. All methods considered in the review are grouped by their principle of action and include karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes for whole chromosomes or individual loci, PCR and reverse transcription-based methods, and high-throughput sequencing. Another characteristic of the described methods is the type of problem being solved. This can be the discovery of new rearrangements, the determination of unknown partner genes participating in the rearrangement, or the confirmation of the proposed rearrangement between the two genes. We consider the specifics of the application, the basic principle of each method, and its pros and cons. To illustrate the application, examples of studying the rearrangements of the KMT2A/MLL gene, one of the genes that are often rearranged in AL, are mentioned.

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Lomov, N., Zerkalenkova, E., Lebedeva, S., Viushkov, V., & Rubtsov, M. A. (2021). Cytogenetic and molecular genetic methods for chromosomal translocations detection with reference to the KMT2A/MLL gene. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Taylor and Francis Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408363.2020.1844135

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