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Exp Cell Res. 2006 Dec 10;312(20):4019-35. Epub 2006 Sep 16.

Distinct nuclear arrangement of active and inactive c-myc genes in control and differentiated colon carcinoma cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cytology and Cytometry, Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Královopolská 135, 612 65 Brno, Czech Republic.


Using sequential RNA-DNA fluorescence in situ hybridization, the nuclear arrangement of both the active and inactive c-myc gene as well as its transcription was investigated in colon cancer HT-29 cells induced to differentiate into enterocytes. Cytogenetic studies revealed the presence of two chromosomes 8 in HT-29 cells, of which the one containing c-myc gene amplicons was substantially larger and easily distinguished from the normal chromosome. This observation enabled detection of both activity and nuclear localization of c-myc genes in single cells and in individual chromosome territories. Similar transcriptional activity of the c-myc gene was observed in both the normal and derivative chromosome 8 territories showing no influence of the amplification on the c-myc gene expression. Our experiments demonstrate strikingly specific nuclear and territorial arrangements of active genes as compared with inactive ones: on the periphery of their territories facing to the very central region of the cell nucleus. Nuclear arrangement of c-myc genes and transcripts was conserved during cell differentiation and, therefore, independent of the level of differentiation-specific c-myc gene expression. However, after the induction of differentiation, a more internal territorial location was found for the single copy c-myc gene of normal chromosome 8, while amplicons conserved their territorial topography.

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