We surveyed 20 Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1) positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) samples by Southern blot hybridization to determine the location of the breakpoints that occur on chromosomes 9 and 22 in the Ph1 translocation. Only 3 of 20 samples exhibited breakpoints on chromosome 9 within 18 kilobases (kb) of the v-abl homologous sequences. Mapping of these three chromosome 9 breakpoints indicates that each is at a separate location within this 18-kb region, indicating that there are no breakpoint "hot spots" in this area. In contrast, all 20 CML samples exhibited breaks on chromosome 22 within a 5.0-kb Bgl II fragment that lies within the previously described breakpoint cluster region (bcr). Several patients with CML blast crisis exhibiting multiple Ph1 chromosomes/metaphase exhibited amplified and rearranged c-abl-related fragments. These additional Ph1 chromosomes in blast crisis cells do not arise from a second, independent 9:22 translocation but rather result from a duplication of the preexisting Ph1 chromosome.
S J Collins