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Oncogene. 1998 Nov 26;17(21):2771-7.

Chimeric amplicons containing the c-myc gene in HL60 cells.

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Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, Università di Palermo, Italy.


The major amplicon present in HL60 cells is chimeric in nature being composed of 70 kb of DNA sequence derived from the MYC locus linked to 80 kb of novel DNA sequence derived from a non contiguous region located telomeric to the c-myc gene at 8q24 (Feo et al., 1996). Here we show by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) that these coamplified sequences, MCR (Myc Coamplified Region), are derived from a locus located 3-4 Mb telomeric to the c-myc gene in the q24.2-24.3 region of chromosome 8. Genomic cloning and Southern blot analysis indicate the arrangement of chimeric amplicons are in tandem arrays. Analysis of the DNA sequences at the juncture of the MYC locus and the MCR suggest that these non syntenic regions were joined by nonhomologous recombination events. Visualization of the organization of the amplified DNA by fiber-FISH analysis illustrates we have cloned the complete amplicon. This is the first complete mammalian amplicon to be cloned and have its structure visualized. In addition to the major class of tandemly repeated amplicons, a second class of amplicons was detected by fiber-FISH in which the extent of the MCR component is about twice the size of the MCR component in the major amplicon. These longer amplicons most likely contain inverted repeats of MCR and MYC region sequences. Whether the amplicons contain mixtures of these two types of structures or separate amplicons only contain one type of structure has not yet been resolved. Properties of the MCR sequences responsible for retention in the chimeric HL60 amplicons upon long term passage are discussed.

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