Ig heavy chain variable region (VH) genes expressed by human diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLC) and follicular lymphoma (FL) were identified and analyzed with respect to germline gene families. In 67 cases of FL, VH region genes were expressed in a pattern similar to that of normal B cells, with a predominance of the large VH3 gene family being used. In contrast, of the 17 cases of DLC, there was an extremely biased use of VH genes. Of these DLC tumors, 88% expressed genes from the small VH4 gene family; and even among these tumors, there was a limited use of genes, with 11 cases producing Igs derived from the VH4.21 germline gene. Although most of the VH genes expressed by DLC tumor cells contained mutations with respect to their germline counterparts, almost all of these mutations occurred before the clonal expansion of the tumor. This contrasts with our previous findings of ongoing mutations in FL and represents a fundamental difference between these two malignancies. This preferential gene use implies an important role for the VH4 gene family, and specifically for VH4.21, in the genesis of DLC.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RZ07100024
View details for PubMedID 7579401