The der(21)t(12;21) chromosome is always formed in a 12;21 translocation associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Hirofumi Kobayashi, Noriko Satake, Nobuo Maseki, Akiko Sakashita, Yasuhiko Kaneko

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We studied 116 patients (93 children and 23 adults) with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) clone, 964c10, which includes the recently described ETS-like gene, TEL, on 12p13. FISH revealed that nine of the patients had a t(12;21), which had not been previously detected. The nine patients were all children, seven boys and two girls, aged 1-10 years (median 3 years), had an early B immunophenotype, and achieved complete remission, although two of them experienced haematological relapse. In addition to the t(12;21), FISH also revealed that three of the nine had a del(12p) in the other homolog of chromosome 12 or in the der(12) chromosome itself, and that two others had 12p translocations in the other chromosome 12 homolog. Although chromosomal rearrangements associated with the t(12;21) were heterogeneous and complex, fusion of the sequences from chromosomes 12 and 21 on the der(21)t(12;21) chromosomes was consistent, suggesting that the TEL-AML1 gene fusion on the der(21) chromosome may be critical in leukaemogenesis and that FISH or reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targeted to the chimaeric sequences on the der(21) will be most useful in detecting the t(12:21) or following a patient with the t(12;21), which is one of the most frequent chromosomal rearrangements in both Caucasian and Asian childhood ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes



  • ALL
  • AML1
  • Chromosomal aberration
  • FISH
  • TEL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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