High resolution analysis of rearrangements in follicular lymphoma genomes using high-throughput BAC clone fingerprinting

Follicular lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes (cells of the immune system) and is the most prevalent type of lymphoma in Canada. Most follicular lymphomas are associated with defective cells resulting from the gene regulation process (the process through which the cell determines when and where genes will be activated) resulting in increased production amounts of the protein Bcl-2. This protein prevents lymphocytes from dying at the end of their natural lifespan, causing these altered cells to persist in the body, gain abnormal alterations in their genomes, and eventually develop into cancerous cells. Anca Petrescu is examining how chromosomes in follicular lymphoma are structurally different and rearranged relative to the normal genome, and how these differences may cause cancer. She is studying ten follicular lymphoma genomes and will profile each to discover the rearrangements they harbour. Common rearrangements will be analyzed in detail to determine their exact properties, and their effect on genes. Anca hopes her research will provide insight into the role of recurrent rearrangements in follicular lymphoma, and allow for further research to identify key genes that may be may be of potential diagnostic or therapeutic use.