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Gene of the month: BCOR
  1. Alessandro Pietro Aldera1,2,
  2. Dhirendra Govender1,3
  1. 1 Anatomical Pathology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2 Anatomical Pathology—Groote Schuur Hospital, National Health Laboratory Service, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3 Anatomical Pathology, Pathcare Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alessandro Pietro Aldera, D7 Anatomical Pathology, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town 7925, South Africa; alessandro.aldera{at}


BCL-6 transcriptional corepressor (BCOR) gene is located at Xp11.4 and encodes a protein which is involved in transcriptional repression in association with BCL-6 and epigenetic silencing through polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1). BCOR mutations are being identified in an increasing number of tumours which are diverse in their anatomical location and clinical setting. Interestingly, these tumours share similar and overlapping histological features, namely small round blue cell morphology and a myxoid background with delicate capillary channels. Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney, primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumour of infancy and central nervous system high-grade neuroepithelial tumour with BCOR alteration all share similar internal tandem duplications in the polycomb-group really interesting new gene (RING) finger homolog ubiquitin-likefold discriminator domain of BCOR. Translocations resulting in BCOR fusion with CCNB3, MAML3 and ZC3H7B have been identified in undifferentiated round cell sarcoma. Subsets of high-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma and ossifying fibromyxoid tumour which have a more aggressive clinical course have been shown to harbour ZC3H7B-BCOR fusions. BCOR immunohistochemistry is an established marker with diagnostic utility.

  • cancer
  • cancer genetics
  • genetics

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  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors The manuscript was prepared by both authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.