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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. May 15, 1992; 89(10): 4309–4313.
PMCID: PMC49071

Amplified and rearranged epidermal growth factor receptor genes in human glioblastomas reveal deletions of sequences encoding portions of the N- and/or C-terminal tails.

Abstract

This study describes genomic rearrangements near the 3' end of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in eight glioblastomas displaying coamplification and expression of both normal and rearranged EGFR. In four of these cases, it was possible by PCR to amplify tumor EGFR cDNA, which allowed sequence determination of the 3' transcript alterations associated with the rearrangements. Such analysis revealed that the four cases have in common a deletion of 255 bases that encode a portion of the receptor's cytoplasmic domain. The remaining four cases revealed genomic rearrangements in the same region of the gene as those described above and revealed aberrant EGFR transcripts lacking the same 255 bases determined to be missing in the sequenced EGFR cDNAs as well as large regions of contiguous downstream sequences. Therefore, all of the eight cases described here express transcripts that do not encode large C-terminal, intracellular portions of the receptor. In three of the eight cases, the EGFR transcripts displaying a 3' alteration also displayed a 5' inframe deletion of sequences encoding a portion of the extracellular domain, and for one of the corresponding patients it was possible to determine that the two transcript alterations were acquired as separate events. We have now detected the 5' and/or 3' alterations in 21 of 32 cases of glioblastoma with EGFR amplification; no genetic alterations have been detected in glioblastomas without EGFR amplification. In combination with previously published reports, these data suggest the in vivo evolution of EGFR toward an increasingly oncogenic potential through gene amplification with subsequent and successive gene alterations.

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