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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 329471, 7 pages
Review Article

Using Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes in Leukemia Research: The Experience at the University Cytogenetics Laboratory in Brest, France

1Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Brest, 22, Avenue Camille Desmoulins, CS 93837, F-29238 Brest Cedex 3, France
2Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), U613, Brest 29238, France
3Service de Cytogénétique, Cytologie et Biologie de la Reproduction, CHRU Brest, Hôpital Morvan, Brest 29609, France
4Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire et d'Histocompatibilité, CHRU Brest, Hôpital Morvan, Brest 29609, France

Received 15 June 2010; Accepted 7 December 2010

Academic Editor: Hans Konrad Muller

Copyright © 2011 Etienne De Braekeleer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The development of the bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) system was driven in part by the human genome project in order to construct genomic DNA libraries and physical maps for genomic sequencing. The availability of BAC clones has become a valuable tool for identifying cancer genes. We report here our experience in identifying genes located at breakpoints of chromosomal rearrangements and in defining the size and boundaries of deletions in hematological diseases. The methodology used in our laboratory consists of a three-step approach using conventional cytogenetics followed by FISH with commercial probes, then BAC clones. One limitation to the BAC system is that it can only accommodate inserts of up to 300 kb. As a consequence, analyzing the extent of deletions requires a large amount of material. Array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) using a BAC/PAC system can be an alternative. However, this technique has limitations also, and it cannot be used to identify candidate genes at breakpoints of chromosomal rearrangements such as translocations, insertions, and inversions.