TCL1 is activated by chromosomal rearrangement or by hypomethylation

Martin Yuille, Alison Condie, Elaine M. Stone, Julie Wilsher, Paul S. Bradshaw, Louise Brooks, Daniel Catovsky

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    TCL1 is an oncogene activated by recurrent reciprocal translocations at chromosome segment 14q32.1 in the most common of the mature T-cell malignancies, T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia. It acts to transport Akt1 to the nucleus and enhance Akt1's serine-threonine kinase activity. TCL1 is also expressed in the B-cell malignancy, Burkitt's lymphoma (BL). However, 14q32.1 breakpoints have not been detected in BL, and we therefore investigated in more detail how expression was activated. No evidence for rearrangement near TCL1 was found in BL. Instead, a NotI site adjacent to the TATA box in the TCL1 promoter was found to be unmethylated. By contrast, tumor cell lines not expressing TCL1 were fully methylated at this NotI site, while normal somatic cells were hemimethylated. We also found that TCL1 was expressed in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and the related disorder splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes (unlike in normal mature B-cells), and that the NotI site was unmethylated on both alleles. This correlation of repression and methylation was tested in vitro. When cells with both alleles methylated at the NotI site were demethylated, TCL1 expression was induced. These data provide evidence that in mature B-cell malignancies there is an alternative mechanism of TCL1 activation that apparently involves loss of methylation of one promoter allele. We discuss the significance of this for CLL tumorigenesis and for genomewide hypomethylation in CLL. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)336-341
    Number of pages5
    JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Base Sequence
    • biosynthesis
    • Chromosomes,Human,Pair 14
    • DNA Methylation
    • Gene Expression Regulation,Neoplastic
    • Gene Rearrangement
    • Genes,Neoplasm
    • genetics
    • HT29 Cells
    • Humans
    • Jurkat Cells
    • metabolism
    • Molecular Sequence Data
    • Proteins
    • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
    • Tumor Cells,Cultured


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