Primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL) is a rare, yet aggressive form of de novo plasma cell tumor, distinct from secondary PCL (sPCL) which represents a leukemic transformation of pre-existing multiple myeloma (MM). Herein, we performed a comprehensive molecular analysis of a prospective series of pPCLs by means of FISH, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and gene expression profiling (GEP). IGH@ translocations were identified in 87% of pPCL cases, with prevalence of t(11;14) (40%) and t(14;16) (30.5%), whereas the most frequent numerical alterations involved 1p (38%), 1q (48%), 6q (29%), 8p (42%), 13q (74%), 14q (71%), 16q (53%), and 17p (35%). We identified a minimal biallelic deletion (1.5 Mb) in 8p21.2 encompassing the PPP2R2A gene, belonging to a family of putative tumor suppressors and found to be significantly down-regulated in deleted cases. Mutations of TP53 were identified in four cases, all but one associated with a monoallelic deletion of the gene, whereas activating mutations of the BRAF oncogene occurred in one case and were absent in N- and K-RAS. To evaluate the influence of allelic imbalances in transcriptional expression we performed an integrated genomic analysis with GEP data, showing a significant dosage effect of genes involved in transcription, translation, methyltransferase activity, apoptosis as well as Wnt and NF-kB signaling pathways. Overall, we provide a compendium of genomic alterations in a prospective series of pPCLs which may contribute to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of this aggressive form of plasma cell dyscrasia and the mechanisms of tumor progression in MM.
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