Molecular cloning has recently established that the 15;12 chromosome translocations in murine plasmacytomas fuse DNA from chromosome 15 to the immunoglobulin heavy (H) chain locus, usually within the switch recombination region near the α constant region gene. We show here that the incoming DNA bears the cellular gene (c-myc) homologous to the oncogene (v-myc) of avian retrovirus MC29. In human Burkitt lymphomas bearing an 8;14 translocation, c-myc was also rearranged, apparently (in at least two cases) to an H chain switch recombination region (μ or α), and both products of a reciprocal chromosome exchange were detectable. Both the murine and human c-myc genes contain two exons homologous to v-myc, and additional 5' and 3' murine genomic segments (apparent exons) were defined by hybridization to c-myc mRNAs. In plasmacytomas, chromosome breakpoints fall near or within the 5' exon and apparently disrupt the normal c-myc transcriptional unit, because plasmacytoma c-myc mRNAs differ from the mRNA in lines without c-myc rearrangement. The translocated gene presumably has lost its normal 5' regulatory sequences and may well encode an altered myc polypeptide. We propose that altered expression of the c-myc gene, induced by translocation to an immunoglobulin locus, is a critical oncogenic event for these B lymphoid tumors. Two events may be required, because the plasmacytoma oncogene capable of transforming fibroblasts is not c-myc.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Issue number||7 I|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1983|