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Oncology. 1992;49(3):209-14.

Pattern of growth factor, proto-oncogene and carcinoembryonic antigen gene expression in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines.

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Department of Medical Oncology, J. Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Ky.


The aim of the present study was to examine whether the expression of growth factor genes, proto-oncogenes and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene in human colorectal cancer cell lines was related to their clinicobiological behavior. A significant variability among cell lines was detected for both insulin-like growth factor II and transforming growth factor beta gene message. Detectable levels of c-myc, Her-2, c-myb, K-ras and EGF receptor mRNA were found in most cell lines, whereas only 1/11 and 2/11 cell lines were positive for N-myc and c-sis message, respectively. N-myc expression was limited to a cell line originated from a tumor with neuroendocrine features, while high levels of K-ras message were found only in a cell line derived from a radioresistant tumor. CEA mRNA levels correlated well with the concentration of antigen in each cell line. On the basis of these results, our findings demonstrated that human colorectal cancer cell lines show heterogeneous expression of growth factor and CEA genes and proto-oncogenes; however, with the exception of K-ras, N-myc and CEA, other correlations between gene expression and the clinicobiological characteristics of these cell lines could not be demonstrated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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