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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2008 Oct;47(10):819-34. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20583.

Characterization of amplicons in neuroblastoma: high-resolution mapping using DNA microarrays, relationship with outcome, and identification of overexpressed genes.

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INSERM U830, Laboratoire de Génétique et Biologie des Cancers, Institut Curie, 26 rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Somatically acquired chromosomal imbalances are a key feature of neuroblastoma, a heterogeneous pediatric solid tumor. Among these alterations, genomic amplification targeting the MYCN oncogene and observed in about 25-30% of the cases, strongly correlates with advanced stage and poor outcome. In this work, we have used BAC and SNP arrays as well as gene expression arrays to characterize amplifications in neuroblastoma. Eighty-eight distinct BACs defining high-level amplification events were identified in 65 samples, including 43 tumors and 22 cell lines. Although the highest recurrence was observed on chromosome 2, clones on chromosomes 8, 12, 16, and 17 also revealed genomic amplification in several samples. A detailed analysis of the 2p22-2p25 MYCN containing region indicated highly complex patterns in a number of cases. Coamplifications involving MYCN and other regions were explored by FISH in three cell lines. High-resolution arrays then allowed us to further refine the mapping of 25 amplicons in 19 samples, either reducing the size of a single continuous amplicon or increasing the complexity by highlighting multiple noncontiguous regions of amplification. Combined analysis of gene expression profiling and array-CGH data indicated that 12 to 25% of the genes that are targeted by genomic amplification are actually over-expressed in tumor cells, several of them having already been implicated in cancer. Finally, our results suggest that the presence of amplicons localized outside of chromosome 2, in addition to MYCN amplification, may be linked to a particularly severe outcome in neuroblastoma patients.

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