The human N-myc gene is related to the c-myc proto-oncogene, and has been shown to have transforming potential in vitro. Many studies have reported amplification of N-myc in human neuroblastoma and retinoblastoma cell lines. In primary tumors, amplification of the gene was found to correlate directly with behavior of the tumor. Specific restriction fragments of a partial complementary DNA clone of N-myc from LA-N-5 human neuroblastoma cells were placed into a bacterial expression vector for the purpose of producing antigens representative of the N-myc protein. Rabbits immunized with these antigens produced antisera that recognized a protein of 62-64 kilodaltons in neuroblastoma cells. By several criteria, this protein appears to be part of the same proto-oncogene family as the c-myc protein. Moreover, the antisera to fragments of this protein were capable of histochemically identifying malignant cells in clinical specimens.

Related Content