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Cancer Res. 1999 Nov 1;59(21):5443-8.

Predominant expression of alternative PAX3 and PAX7 forms in myogenic and neural tumor cell lines.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6082, USA.


PAX3 and PAX7 are closely related paired box family members expressed during early neural and myogenic development. Assay of PAX3 and PAX7 mRNA expression in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and melanoma cell lines revealed tumor-specific expression patterns similar to the corresponding embryonic lineages. Although the mammalian PAX3 and PAX7 genes were reported to contain eight exons, we found that the predominant PAX3 and PAX7 transcripts in these tumor lines contain previously uncharacterized ninth exons. These splicing events alter the COOH-terminal coding regions of the encoded products but do not alter the transcriptional activity as assayed using a reporter gene with a model PAX3/PAX7 binding site. However, the findings of nearly identical COOH-terminal regions within the corresponding genes of the avian and fish genomes suggest conserved functional roles for these regions that require further investigation.

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