The Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome, the product of t(9:22), is the cytogenetic hallmark of chronic myelogenous leukemia. The c-abl oncogene on chromosome 9 is translocated to the Ph chromosome and linked to a breakpoint cluster region (bcr), which is part of a large bcr gene. This results in the formation of a bcr-c-abl fusion gene, which is transcribed into an 8.5 kb chimeric mRNA encoding a 210 kd bcr-c-abl fusion protein. The Ph chromosome is also found in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Although the c-abl is translocated and a new 190 kd c-abl protein has been identified, no breakpoints are observed in the bcr (Ph+bcr- ALL). Here we show that in Ph+bcr- ALL, breakpoints in chromosome 22 occur within the same bcr gene, but more 5′ of the bcr. Cloning of a chimeric bcr-c-abl cDNA demonstrates that the fusion gene is transcribed into a 7 kb mRNA, encoding a novel fusion protein. © 1987.
Hermans, A., Heisterkamp, N., von Lindern, M., van Baal, S., Meijer, D., van der Plas, D., … Grosveld, G. (1987). Unique fusion of bcr and c-abl genes in Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cell, 51(1), 33–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/0092-8674(87)90007-9