We describe several relatives within one renal cell cancer (RCC) family sharing a constitutional t(2;3) (q35;q21). Based on molecular studies on several independent primary tumors in this family, a causative role for this translocation in tumor development was suggested. Subsequent positional cloning of the 3q21 chromosomal breakpoint revealed that this breakpoint disrupts a novel gene, DIRC2 (disrupted in renal cancer 2). This gene encodes an evolutionary conserved transmembrane protein and represents a novel member of the MFS superfamily of transporters. To evaluate whether DIRC2 is also targeted in sporadic RCC cases with cytogenetically defined 3q21 breakpoints, fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis was performed on metaphase spreads and/or interphase nuclei of 12 primary sporadic RCC using genomic clones from a 3q21 breakpoint-spanning contig as probes. Three breakpoints were mapped proximal to the familial breakpoint and nine breakpoints were mapped distal to this breakpoint. Two of the latter breakpoints were mapped in the contig within 1 Mb distance from the familial breakpoint. Because these clustered 3q21 breakpoints do not coincide with the familial 3q21 breakpoint, they most likely affect genes distinct from DIRC2. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
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