Rearrangement of CRLF2 in B-progenitor- and Down syndrome-associated acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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Aneuploidy and translocations are hallmarks of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but many individuals with this cancer lack recurring chromosomal alterations. Here we report a recurring interstitial deletion of the pseudoautosomal region 1 of chromosomes X and Y in B-progenitor ALL that juxtaposes the first, noncoding exon of P2RY8 with the coding region of CRLF2. We identified the P2RY8-CRLF2 fusion in 7% of individuals with B-progenitor ALL and 53% of individuals with ALL associated with Down syndrome. CRLF2 alteration was associated with activating JAK mutations, and expression of human P2RY8-CRLF2 together with mutated mouse Jak2 resulted in constitutive Jak-Stat activation and cytokine-independent growth of Ba/F3 cells overexpressing interleukin-7 receptor alpha. Our findings indicate that these two genetic lesions together contribute to leukemogenesis in B-progenitor ALL.