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Oncogene. 1999 Jan 7;18(1):233-8.

Co-amplification of a novel gene, NAG, with the N-myc gene in neuroblastoma.

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University of Michigan, Department of Pediatrics, Ann Arbor 48109-0510, USA.


Substantial evidence implicates amplification of the N-myc gene with aggressive tumor growth and poor outcome in neuroblastoma. However some evidence suggests that this gene alone is not the sole determinant of outcome in N-myc amplified tumors. We have searched for genes that co-amplify with N-myc in neuroblastoma by means of two-dimensional analysis of genomic restriction digests. Using this approach, we have identified and cloned a novel genomic fragment which is co-amplified with N-myc in neuroblastomas. This fragment was mapped in close vicinity to N-myc on chromosome arm 2p24. It was amplified in 5/8 N-myc amplified neuroblastoma cell lines and in 9/13 N-myc amplified tumors. Using a PCR-based approach we isolated a 4.5 kb c-DNA sequence that is partly contained in the genomic fragment. The open reading frame of the cDNA encodes a predicted protein of 1353 amino acids (aa). The homology of the predicted protein, which we designated NAG (neuroblastoma amplified gene), to a C. elegans protein of as yet unknown function, and its ubiquitous expression suggest that NAG may serve an essential function. By Northern blot analysis we showed that amplification of the cloned gene correlates with over-expression in neuroblastoma cell lines. Amplification and consequent over-expression of NAG may, therefore, contribute to the phenotype of a subset of neuroblastomas.

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