The first intron of the BCR gene contains two minor alternative exons

Paolo Romero, Alfonso Colombatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1) positive leukemias, the BCR gene is fused to the ABL gene. The resulting chimeric BCR-ABL oncoproteins are thought to play a central role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. We previously described two exons that can be spliced alternatively to the second BCR exon in place of the first exon to form minor messages. In this paper, we localize the alternative exons to a 4.1 kb BglII fragment in the 5′ region of the large first intron of the BCR gene. This genomic structure is of interest because of its analogy to the organization of the ABL gene and because this part of the gene is not affected by the breakpoints occurring in Ph1-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we detected the alternative messages in all cases of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) tested, including seven samples in the chronic phase, five in the accelerated phase and nine in the acute phase, as well as in the majority of other samples studied. These findings suggest a functional role for the variant transcripts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-970
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • ABL
  • BCR
  • CML
  • Philadelphia chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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