Fusion of the MORF and CBP genes in acute myeloid leukemia with the t(10;16)(q22;p13).
The CBP gene at 16p13 fuses to MOZ and MLL as a result of the t(8;16)(p11;p13) in acute (myelo)monocytic leukemias (AML M4/M5) and the t(11;16)(q23;p13) in treatment-related AML, respectively. We show here that a novel t(10;16)(q22;p13) in a childhood AML M5a leads to a MORF-CBP chimera. RT-PCR using MORF forward and CBP reverse primers amplified a MORF-CBP fusion in which nucleotide 3103 of MORF was fused in-frame with nucleotide 284 of CBP. Nested RT-PCR with CBP forward and MORF reverse primers generated a CBP-MORF transcript in which nucleotide 283 of CBP was fused in-frame with nucleotide 3104 of MORF. Genomic analyses revealed that the breaks were close to Alu elements in intron 16 of MORF and intron 2 of CBP and that duplications had occurred near the breakpoints. A database search using MORF cDNA enabled us to construct an exon-intron map of the MORF gene. The MORF-CBP protein retains the zinc fingers, two nuclear localization signals, the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) domain, a portion of the acidic domain of MORF and the CBP protein downstream of codon 29. Thus, the part of CBP encoding the RARA-binding domain, the CREB-binding domain, the three Cys/His-rich regions, the bromodomain, the HAT domain and the Glu-rich domains is present. In the reciprocal CBP-MORF, part of the acidic domain and the C-terminal Ser- and Met-rich regions of MORF are likely to be driven by the CBP promoter. Since both fusion transcripts were present, their exact role in the leukemogenic process remains to be elucidated.