Patient with 13 chromosome deletion: evidence that the retinoblastoma gene is a recessive cancer gene

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Science  25 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4587, pp. 973-975
DOI: 10.1126/science.6336308


Although a constitutional chromosomal deletion including 13q14 has been found to date in all retinoblastoma patients whose esterase D activity is 50 percent of normal, one female patient has been found who has 50 percent esterase D activity in all normal cells examined but no deletion of 13q14 at the 550-band level. Therefore, she has the smallest constitutional chromosomal deletion within 13q14 that is associated with susceptibility to retinoblastoma. Two stem lines were identified in a retinoblastoma from this patient, and each one had a missing 13 chromosome. No detectable esterase D activity was found in the tumor, indicating that the normal nondeleted 13 chromosome was lost in both stem lines. Thus the data from this patient not only show that there is a total loss of genetic information at the location of the retinoblastoma gene within the tumor, but also imply that recessive genes may play an important role in the development of certain human tumors including retinoblastoma.

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