Cytogenetic studies of Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cells obtained from a patient with prolymphocytic leukemia revealed the cells to contain recurrent chromosome aberrations involving band 3p21. The in vivo leukemic cells from which the cell lines originated contained a der(3)t(3;17?)(p21;q11?) and a der(13)t(13;3)(q34;p21), as well as numerical (-Y, -8, and -17) and other structural [8p- and der(8)t(8;?)(q13?;?)] changes. The cells in established culture showed additional chromosome aberrations involving band 3p21 of the previously normal and abnormal chromosomes 3. After 200 days of culture, the cells contained a new translocation, i.e., t(3;14)(p21;q32). The cells showed further chromosomal breakage and reunion at band 3p21 at later passages. The affected chromosomal band (3p21) is close to one of the constitutive fragile sites, i.e., 3p14.2. Northern blot analysis of the messenger RNA of the cultured cells did not show an increased or altered expression of the c-raf-1 protooncogene (located at 3p25) when compared with the mRNA of Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines from normal subjects with a normal karyotype. Also, the established cells did not show DNA rearrangements or RNA alterations of the c-myc gene.

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