FGFR3 preferentially colocalizes with IGH in the interphase nucleus of multiple myeloma patient B-cells when FGFR3 is located outside of CT4

2016-08-11 13:33:45

Genes Chromosomes & Cancer; 11 August 2016: DOI:10.1002/gcc.22394

Lorri D. Martin, Jana Harizanova, Sabine Mai, Andrew R. Belch, Linda M. Pilarski


Many B-cell malignancies are characterized by chromosomal translocations involving IGH and a proto-oncogene. For translocations to occur, spatial proximity of translocation-prone genes is necessary. Currently, it is not known how such genes are brought into proximity with one another. Although decondensed chromosomes occupy definitive, non-random spaces in the interphase nucleus known as chromosome territories (CTs), chromatin at the edges of CTs can intermingle, and specific genomic regions from some chromosomes have been shown to “loop out” of their respective CTs. This extra-territorial positioning of specific genomic regions may provide a mechanism whereby translocation-prone genes are brought together in the interphase nucleus. FGFR3 and MAF recurrently participate in translocations with IGH at different frequencies. Using 3D, 4-color FISH, and 3D analysis software, we show frequent extra-territorial positioning of FGFR3 and significantly less frequent extra-territorial positioning of MAF. Frequent extra-territorial positioning may be characteristic of FGFR3 in B-cells from healthy adult donors and non-malignant B-cells from patients, but not in hematopoietic stem cells from patients with translocations. The frequency of extra-territorial positioning of FGFR3 and MAF in B-cells correlates with the frequency of translocations in the patient population. Most importantly, in patient B-cells, we demonstrate a significant proportion of extra-territorial FGFR3 participating in close loci pairs and/or colocalizing with IGH. This preliminary work suggests that in patient B-cells, extra-territorial positioning of FGFR3 may provide a mechanism for forming close loci pairs and/or colocalization with IGH; indirectly facilitating translocation events involving these two genes.

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