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Expression of the myc gene locus in populations of leukocytes from leukemia patients and normal individuals

, : Expression of the myc gene locus in populations of leukocytes from leukemia patients and normal individuals. Leukemia Research 10(5): 515-526

The relative abundances of c-myc-related RNA in the total cellular RNA of peripheral blood leukocytes from 36 patients with leukaemia have been compared with those in normal peripheral blood leukocytes and in HL60 cells. Varying amounts of c-myc-related RNA were found in RNAs from leukocytes from patients with ANLL, CGL and ALL. High concentrations (comparable with that in HL60 cells) were found in 13 (36%) of the leukaemias and lower, but still significant, concentrations in a further 15 (42%). Low concentrations of c-myc-related RNA, comparable to that in normal leukocytes, were found in 2 of 8 CGLs, 1 of 12 ANLLs, and 5 of 5 CLLs. DNAs from 11 leukaemia patients' leukocytes, in which c-myc-related RNA concentrations ranged from very high to very low, were examined for rearrangements and/or amplification of the c-myc gene. No rearrangements were detected, and the small degree of amplification (2- to 4-fold at most) found was not correlated with increased levels of c-myc RNA. There was, however, a noteworthy (though incomplete) correlation between elevated levels of c-myc-related RNA and the occurrence of higher proportions of blast cells in leukocyte populations from leukaemic patients. It is suggested that high levels of c-myc-related RNA in a population of peripheral blood leukocytes indicate the presence of a high proportion of leukaemic leukocytes that are maturation-arrested at early stages of development.

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