Detection of TLS/FUS-CHOP Fusion Transcripts in Myxoid and Round Cell Liposarcomas by Nested Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Using Archival Paraffin-embedded Tissues

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The reciprocal translocation t(12;16)(q13;p11) has been shown to be highly characteristic of myxoid and round cell subtypes of liposarcoma, and the TLS/FUS-CHOP fusion gene that resulted from the translocation is expected to be a diagnostic molecular marker of these sarcomas. In this study, we conducted a nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based assay to detect the TLS/FUS-CHOP fusion gene transcripts using archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor specimens. Of 18 paraffin-embedded specimens from 16 myxoid and round cell liposarcoma cases, the fusion transcripts could be identified in 16 (89%) specimens from 15 (94%) cases. A sequence analysis using the PCR products confirmed that the detected messages were derived from either type I or type II TLS/FUS-CHOP fusion gene, the latter of which was predominant (80%). The results were consistent in primary and recurrent lesions of the same patients and in paraffin-embedded and snap-frozen samples from the same tumors. In two negative specimens, transcripts of the p-actin gene could not be detected by RT-PCR, and intact mRNA including the fusion messages might have been degraded. No fusion transcripts were detected in snap-frozen or paraffin-embedded material of other types of tumors with myxoid morphology (seven myxoid malignant fibrous histiocytomas and four lipomas with myxoid change). These results indicate that this molecular assay can be applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissues as a diagnostic aid for these subtypes of liposarcoma.

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