Cytogenetic and Molecular Genetic Abnormalities of CIITA Gene in Patients with Primary Mediastinal (Thymic) Large B-Cell Lymphoma

SA Kuznetsova, VL Surin, YaK Mangasarova, TYu Novikova, LA Grebenyuk, AU Magomedova, SK Kravchenko, OS Pshenichnikova, AM Sergeeva, TN Obukhova

National Research Center for Hematology, 4 Novyi Zykovskii pr-d, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125167

For correspondence: Svetlana Aleksandrovna Kuznetsova, 4 Novyi Zykovskii pr-d, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125167; Tel.: +7(985)170-61-83; e-mail:

For citation: Kuznetsova SA, Surin VL, Mangasarova YaK, et al. Cytogenetic and Molecular Genetic Abnormalities of CIITA Gene in Patients with Primary Mediastinal (Thymic) Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Clinical oncohematology. 2021;14(2):173–8. (In Russ).

DOI: 10.21320/2500-2139-2021-14-2-173-178


Background. Primary mediastinal (thymic) large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) is an aggressive malignant lymphoproliferative disease which accounts for 2–3 % of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. In 40 % of PMBCL cases rearrangements of the MHC class II activator, i.e. CIITA gene, are observed. CIITA abnormalities lead to decreasing protein expression and surface expression of MHC class II, which results in lack of adaptive cell immunity targeted at tumor cells.

Aim. To assess the rate and spectrum of cytogenetic and molecular genetic abnormalities of CIITA gene in PMBCL patients.

Materials & Methods. The study enrolled 37 patients with diagnosed PMBCL: 10 men and 27 women aged 21–61 years (median of 31 years). Sanger sequencing was performed in 36 patients. In 20 patients CIITA/16p13.13 FISH and in 15 patients standard cytogenetic analysis were carried out.

Results. In 3 (8.3 %) out of 36 patients the sequencing method detected mutations impairing CIITA gene function, as well as microdeletion in exon 1, deletion and nucleotide substitution in a splice donor site. Multiple somatic variations in intron 1 were identified in 21 (58.3 %) patients: in 11 (52.4 %) cases there were deletions and single nucleotide variants (SNV); the other 10 (47.6 %) patients showed only SNVs. In 13 (61.9 %) out of 21 cases the abnormalities of promoter IV and/or alternative exon 1 were observed. In 5 (25 %) out of 20 patients the FISH assay identified CIITA gene translocation. Standard cytogenetic analysis detected complex karyotype in 7 (46.6 %) out of 15 patients. The comparison of data showed hypermutagenesis in 8 out of 10 patients with FISH-detected chromosome aberrations, and in 3 (37.5 %) of them complex karyotype aberrations were found as well.

Conclusion. Molecular genetic methods identified different somatic variations in CIITA gene affecting its functionally important regions, which can be of special interest for further studying the biology of tumors, including PMBCL.

Keywords: primary mediastinal (thymic) B-cell large cell lymphoma, CIITA, FISH, chromosomal aberrations, Sanger sequencing.

Received: December 15, 2020

Accepted: March 11, 2021

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