Genome Biology

, 2:spotlight-20010703-02 | Cite as

Deadly fusion

  • Jonathan B Weitzman
Research news


Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Chromatin Remodelling Chromosomal Translocation Nature Genetic Cloning Strategy 
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Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) kills its young victims within a matter of months; and AMKL is associated with a chromosomal translocation t(1;22)(p13;q13). In the July issue of Nature Genetics, Ma et al. report the identification of two novel genes that are fused at the translocation breakpoint (Nature Genetics 2001, 28:220-221). They used a cloning strategy based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to define the breakpoint and to recover bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones covering the region. From these, they cloned a chromosome 22 gene, named MKL1 (megakaryoblastic leukemia-1) that contains a SAP DNA-binding motif and may be involved in chromatin remodelling. MKL1 is fused to a gene on chromosome 1 called RBM15 (RNA-binding motif protein 15); it encodes RNA-recognition motifs and resembles the Drosophila gene spen. The authors speculate that the RMM15-MKL1 fusion protein causes aberrant RNA processing and signalling that disrupts megakaryoblast differentiation and/or proliferation.


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    Acute megakaryocytic leukemia with the t(1;22)(p13;q13)Google Scholar
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    SAP - a putative DNA-binding motif involved in chromosomal organization.Google Scholar
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    Conserved structures and diversity of functions of RNA-binding proteins.Google Scholar

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© BioMed Central Ltd 2001

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  • Jonathan B Weitzman

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