AIMS: To determine whether junctional sequences of rearranged chromosomes can be amplified by use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and whether direct sequence analysis of the PCR products is possible, using DNA from formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded biopsy specimens. METHODS: DNA was extracted from paraffin wax embedded, formalin fixed lymphoma specimens, and junctional sequences of rearranged chromosomes were amplified by the PCR. The products were used as templates for asymmetrical PCR. Subsequently, direct sequence analysis was performed using the chain termination method. RESULTS: Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded biopsy specimens and PCR amplification could be used to determine the nucleotide sequences of junctional regions of rearranged chromosomes t(14;18) from patients with follicular lymphoma. CONCLUSION: The identification of junctional sequences of the translocation in follicular lymphoma provides a molecular "fingerprint" of t(14;18) of the lymphoma of an individual patient and can be used for the detection of clone specific DNA in any biopsy tissue obtained from the patient. The strategy used for rapid sequence analysis of PCR amplified DNA sequences will be useful in many areas of molecular pathology.
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