Plasmacytomas were induced in (BALB/c X AKR 6;15) X BALB/c backcross mice where one of the BALB/c-derived chromosomes No. 15 was replaced by the AKR(6;15)-derived Robertsonian 6;15 chromosome. (BALB/c X AKR 6;15)F2 mice that were homozygous for Rb 6;15 were mated to BALB/c mice. Plasmacytomas were induced in the progeny by intraperitoneal injection of pristane. The cytogenetic marker permitted the distinctive identification of the two chromosome 15 homologues, including the distal segment involved in the plasmacytoma-specific translocations. 7 of the 10 plasmacytomas contained the typical t(12;15) translocation. The BALB/c-derived 15 chromosome served as the donor of the translocated segment in six of them. In the seventh, the Rb 6;15 chromosome of the AKR strain was the donor. The remaining three tumors contained the same type of intrachromosomal rearrangement. It arose by the pericentric inversion of the Rb 6;15 chromosome, leading to a variant plasmacytoma-associated rcpt (6;15) translocation. Unlike the usual 6;15 variant that arises by a reciprocal exchange between two separate chromosomes, it was generated by an exchange of the distal segments of a single chromosomal element. High resolution banding analysis of the tumors showed that all translocated breakpoints on chromosomes 15, 12, and 6 were identical with the previously described breakpoints characteristic for the typical 12;15 and the variant 6;15 translocation in murine plasmacytomas. It is known that the distal segment of chromosome 15 carries the c-myc oncogene (23). The PC-associated translocations cut across the 5'-exon of c-myc in the majority of the cases (24,26). The severed oncogene is transposed to the Ig-region on the recipient chromosome. Since the BALB/c strain is highly sensitive to PC-induction, we were interested to examine the question whether its chromosome 15 is preferred as the oncogene donor in AKR X BALB/c backcross mice that carry cytogenetically distinguishable 15 chromosomes. Our results show that this is not the case, since the same segment of the AKR-derived chromosome 15 could also serve in the same capacity. This is in contrast with T cell leukemogenesis where we have previously found that the trisomization-associated duplication of chromosome 15 occurred in a highly asymmetrical fashion, depending on the donor strain of No. 15 (9-11).

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