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Tumour Biol. 1993;14(5):295-302.

Expression of c-kit and kit ligand in human colon carcinoma cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine, (Section 1), School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, Japan.


To determine whether c-kit and kit ligand (KL) mRNAs could be expressed in human epithelial tumors, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Northern blot analysis were performed. KL mRNA was shown to be expressed in a variety of epithelial tissues and cell lines. The expression of c-kit mRNA was then examined in hepatocellular and colon carcinoma cell lines. While hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines did not express c-kit mRNA as far as we could ascertain, 2 of 5 colon carcinoma cell lines showed the expression of both c-kit and KL mRNAs. Furthermore, the expression of c-kit in these cells was demonstrated at the protein level by flow cytometry. These data suggest that c-kit and KL may play an important role as an autocrine loop in the proliferation of some colon carcinoma cells.

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