T-cell receptor gene rearrangements as markers of lineage and clonality in T-cell neoplasms

F. Flug, P. G. Pelicci, F. Bonetti, D. M. Knowles, R. Dalla-Favera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ig gene rearrangements represent markers of lineage, clonality, and differentiation of B cells, allowing a molecular diagnosis and immunogenotypic classification of B-cell neoplasms. We sought to apply a similar approach to the study of T-cell populations by analyzing rearrangements of the T-cell receptor β-chain (T(β)) gene. Our analysis, by Southern blotting hybridization using T(β)-specific probes of DNAs from polyclonal T cells and from 12 T-cell tumors, indicates that T(β) gene rearrangement patterns can be used as markers of (i) lineage, allowing the identification of polyclonal T-cell populations, and (ii) clonality, allowing the detection of monoclonal T-cell tumors. In addition, our data indicate that T(β) gene rearrangements represent early and general markers of T-cell differentiation since they are detectable in histologically different tumors at all stages of T-cell development. The ability to determine lineage, clonality, and stage of differentiation has significant implications for future experimental and clinical studies on normal and neoplastic T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3460-3464
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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