The pattern of immunoglobulin (Ig) gene rearrangement and the genomic structure of the Myc locus were investigated in the DNA of 20 lymphnode biopsies of patients suffering from lymphoadenopathy-associated syndrome (LAS) and from 3 patients with Burkitt's lymphoma. Although polyclonality was the prevalent pattern of Ig gene rearrangement observed in LAS, in 30% of the cases discrete bands of Ig heavy chain gene rearrangement were identifiable due to the presence of monoclonal or oligoclonal cell populations. However, structural alterations of the Myc gene were not detected in any cases. As expected, in all three Burkitt's lymphomas studied, the lymphnode DNA displayed a clonal pattern of Ig heavy chain gene rearrangement. The Myc was altered in two cases, which presented a truncation of the gene beginning within a very short region of the first intron. By contrast, the breakpoint positions on chromosome 14 mapped in different regions of the Ig loci, which in both cases involved the switch (SH) area. Data confirm the relatively common occurrence of oligoclonal expansions within B cells in LAS and the frequent involvement of the Myc oncogene in the process of lymphomagenesis in individuals positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
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