Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Transcriptional activation of the translocated c-myc oncogene in burkitt lymphoma.

PMID 6402776


We have previously demonstrated that translocations of V(H) genes from chromosome 14 to chromosome 8 and of the c-myc oncogene from chromosome 8 to chromosome 14 occur in Burkitt lymphomas with the t(8;14) chromosome translocation. An association of the c-myc gene with the C(mu) immunoglobulin gene has been observed in some but not all Burkitt lymphomas studied previously. In the present study, we have investigated the organization of the human heavy chain locus and of the c-myc gene in the P3HR-1 Burkitt lymphoma cell line. Becuase mouse/P3HR-1 somatic cell hybrids that retain only the 14q+ chromosome and no other human chromosome contain the human C(mu) and C(gamma) genes but not V(H) genes, we have concluded that the breakpoint on chromosome 14 in P3HR-1 cells is distal to C(mu) and between C(mu) and V(H). Thus, the breakpoint of human chromosome 14 differs in different Burkitt lymphoma cell lines. We also found that the human c-myc oncogene translocated to chromosome 14 in the P3HR-1 cell line is not recombined with the C(mu) gene. The breakpoint on human chromosome 8 may therefore also differ in different Burkitt lymphoma cell lines, because we have observed DNA rearrangement of the c-myc gene with the C(mu) gene in only some of the Burkitt lymphoma cell lines studied elsewhere. Interestingly, high levels of transcripts of the c-myc oncogene were observed in Burkitt lymphomas with translocated c-myc oncogenes both rearranged and unrearranged. Therefore, the translocation of a c-myc oncogene to the heavy chain locus on human chromosome 14 is apparently sufficient for its transcriptional activation and may be an essential step in the pathway leading to neoplasia.

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P3HR-1, 86010701