Anticipation-earlier onset and more severe disease in the offspring generation-is a well documented feature of familial chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). In a number of Mendelian diseases, anticipation is caused by expansion of contiguous triplets of nucleotides. The severity of disease expression and penetrance is related to the extent of the triplet expansion. To investigate whether repeat nucleotide repeat expansion is a feature of CLL, the repeat expansion detection (RED) technique was applied to samples from 17 patients with familial disease and 32 patients with early-onset CLL disease. No potentially pathological CAG expansions were detected. We conclude that unstable CAG repeat expansion is not a feature of CLL and that other processes are likely to be involved in generating anticipation in familial forms of the disease.
- B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Repeat expansion detection
- Trinucleotide repeats