Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

The bcl-2 gene is rearranged in many diffuse B-cell lymphomas

  1. AC Aisenberg,
  2. BM Wilkes, and
  3. JO Jacobson
  1. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


Southern blotting was used to detect rearrangement of the bcl-2 gene in 104 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma subclassified by the Working Formulation, 24 cases of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) and 14 cases of T cell malignancy. Earlier workers reported rearrangement of this gene (located on chromosome 18) in a major fraction of follicular lymphomas, lymphomas in which a 14;18 chromosome translocation is frequently observed. In the present study, bcl-2 was rearranged in 30% (11 of 37) of follicular lymphomas and 19% (11 of 58) of diffuse lymphomas of follicle center cell lineage. In 18 of 19 samples studied, the rearranged bcl-2 fragment also hybridized with a probe for the joining region of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene located on chromosome 14, indicating a 14;18 translocation. In lymphomas not derived from follicle center cells, ie, diffuse lymphomas of small B lymphocytes, B-CLL and T cell neoplasms, the bcl-2 gene was always in germline configuration. The frequent rearrangement of bcl-2 in a variety of B cell lymphomas of diffuse morphology (small cleaved cell, large cell, small noncleaved cell and immunoblastic) is noteworthy.