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Cell Growth Differ. 1992 Jun;3(6):385-90.

Isolation and characterization of complementary DNA for N-cym, a gene encoded by the DNA strand opposite to N-myc.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.


The N-myc oncogene has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of human tumors, including childhood neuroblastoma and adult small cell lung cancer. We have isolated and characterized complementary DNA clones derived from a transcription unit, N-cym, located on the opposite DNA strand to N-myc, with extensive overlap existing between the 5' ends of the two transcription units. The N-cym gene, which can encode a 109-amino acid protein, is expressed during fetal development, as well as in tumor cell lines containing amplified N-myc loci, where it is expressed at very high levels. Although other examples of overlapping, opposite-strand eukaryotic genes exist, N-myc and N-cym are unique in that they appear to be coregulated in tumor cell lines under basal growth conditions and in response to the differentiating agent retinoic acid. This coregulation suggests that their protein products may be functionally interrelated during normal development and oncogenesis.

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