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Keywords:

  • FHIT gene;
  • acute myeloid leukaemia;
  • reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction;
  • directing sequencing;
  • aberrant transcripts

Recently the FHIT gene (fragile histidine triad gene) has been identified at chromosome 3p14.2 and a high frequency of abnormalities in this gene has been demonstrated in various cancers. To determine the role of the FHIT gene in leukaemia, bone marrow or peripheral blood from 62 acute myeloid leukaemia patients and five haemopoietic cell lines (HL60, U937, Raji, KG-1, K562) were analysed by reverse transcription of the FHIT mRNA followed by PCR amplification and sequencing of the products. To detect the deletion of the FHIT gene, 17 cases were evaluated using microsatellite polymorphism analysis. In this study, 17/62 (27%) AML patients expressed aberrant transcripts which lack two or more exons of the FHIT gene, and all the cell lines exhibited the aberrant FHIT transcripts. No cases exhibited a loss of the FHIT alleles. Our data indicated that the FHIT gene may play a role in myeloid carcinogenesis and may be indicated in the late progression of the disease.