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Unknown partner for USP6 and unusual SS18 rearrangement detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization in a solid aneurysmal bone cyst

      USP6 rearrangement is the most common genetic abnormality in primary aneurysmal bone cyst, and SS18 rearrangement has not been previously described in any type of tumor where synovial sarcoma was excluded from the differential diagnosis. We report a case of solid aneurysmal bone cyst in which fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis indicated rearrangements of both USP6 and SS18, but histologic features were consistent with aneurysmal bone cyst throughout the lesion. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the SS18-SSX1 and SS18-SSX2 translocations, identity testing, and SS18 FISH were performed on cytogenetic monolayer cultures and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. Genomic microarray, FISH, and immunohistochemistry were performed on follow-up studies of the FFPE specimen. The karyotype was 45,X,add(X)(p11.2),add(4)(q13),add(8)(p21),-13,add(17)(p11.2),add(18)(q11.2) in all 20 cells analyzed from monolayer cultures. The karyotype showed no cytogenetically visible alterations of chromosomal regions harboring known partners for USP6. Metaphase FISH with a commercial SS18 break-apart probe showed translocation of the 5′ portion of the SS18 probe to the short arm of the derivative X, as is observed in synovial sarcoma. RT-PCR showed no evidence of a SS18-SSX fusion, and immunohistochemistry was negative for TLE1, EMA, and cytokeratin AE1/3 expression. FISH on FFPE sections with a custom break-apart probe flanking USP6 showed evidence for a USP6 rearrangement throughout the tumor (25–50%). FISH on FFPE sections with a commercial SS18 break-apart FISH probe showed more variable results (0–50% split signals). There was no evidence of a SS18-USP6 fusion by FISH or RT-PCR. A molecular inversion probe array revealed a deletion encompassing the entire SS18 gene and its promoter, as well as portions of the region targeted by the commercial SS18 FISH probe. In conclusion, results obtained from commercially available FISH probes may occasionally yield misleading results. In this case, the SS18 rearrangement by FISH resulted from a complex rearrangement of 18q11.2 with a deletion of the SS18 gene. The translocation partner for USP6 remains unknown in this case.

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