Incomplete DJH rearrangements as a novel tumor target for minimal residual disease quantitation in multiple myeloma using real-time PCR.

D. González, M. González, M.E. Alonso, R. López-Pérez, A. Balanzategui, M.C. Chillón, M. Silva, R. García-Sanz, J.F. San Miguel

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The hypervariable regions of immunoglobulin heavy-chain (IgH) rearrangements provide a specific tumor marker in multiple myeloma (MM). Recently, real-time PCR assays have been developed in order to quantify the number of tumor cells after treatment. However, these strategies are hampered by the presence of somatic hypermutation (SH) in VDJH rearrangements from multiple myeloma (MM) patients, which causes mismatches between primers and/or probes and the target, leading to a nonaccurate quantification of tumor cells. Our group has recently described a 60% incidence of incomplete DJH rearrangements in MM patients, with no or very low rates of SH. In this study, we compare the efficiency of a real-time PCR approach for the analysis of both complete and incomplete IgH rearrangements in eight MM patients using only three JH consensus probes. We were able to design an allele-specific oligonucleotide for both the complete and incomplete rearrangement in all patients. DJH rearrangements fulfilled the criteria of effectiveness for real-time PCR in all samples (ie no unspecific amplification, detection of less than 10 tumor cells within 10(5) polyclonal background and correlation coefficients of standard curves higher than 0.98). By contrast, only three out of eight VDJH rearrangements fulfilled these criteria. Further analyses showed that the remaining five VDJH rearrangements carried three or more somatic mutations in the probe and primer sites, leading to a dramatic decrease in the melting temperature. These results support the use of incomplete DJH rearrangements instead of complete somatically mutated VDJH rearrangements for investigation of minimal residual disease in multiple myeloma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1057
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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