The genes coding for the Ig light chains expressed in two cases of human follicular lymphoma were cloned and sequenced. In each case, multiple independent isolates of the tumor population were compared. Although each tumor represented a single clone of B cells with a unique V/J joint, different cells within each tumor had accumulated multiple point mutations in the V gene during clonal expansion. Most of the mutations observed were silent, but some resulted in amino acid replacements. Identical silent mutations were often observed in independent isolates of each tumor. By combining the current data with VH sequences obtained previously from the same cells, it was apparent that the repetitive silent mutations could not be explained solely by a genealogic tree. Such mutations could represent hot spots whose tendency to mutate may be influenced by neighboring DNA sequences or by the methylation of specific cytosine residues.

This content is only available as a PDF.