Gene amplification is a major mechanism through which oncogenes and genes responsible for drug resistance are overexpressed in neoplastic cells, and several models for structure of amplified units (amplicons) are postulated. In order to identify consistent changes associated with oncogene amplification, we analyzed chromosomal location and physical distance of amplicons of two independent human cell lines that have coamplified c-myc and Ki-ras oncogenes. In one cell line, KHC287, amplified c-myc genes were localized in two chromosomes and Ki-ras in three chromosomes. One marker chromosome was almost entirely encompassed by both amplified genes. In the other cell line, Lu-65, both of the amplified genes shared the same locus, on chromosome 12q+. The two genes, however, are more than 1500 kb apart in both cell lines. The above findings indicate that two different amplified genes became associated on one chromosome in two independent cell lines. This suggests that a common mechanism is associated with chromosomal rearrangements affecting different amplified genes.
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