Amplification of the translocated c-myc genes in three Burkitt lymphoma cell lines

P. Khaira, C. D. James, M. Leffak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Translocations of the coding exons of the human c-myc gene are consistent features of human Burkitt lymphomas (BL). In the BL cell lines CA46, JD40, and ST486, the second and third c-myc exons have been translocated into the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus. In addition to this rearrangement, in all three cell lines, we have found that the translocated c-myc exons show low-level amplification relative to restriction fragments from the germ-line c-myc gene. The patterns of hybridization of an IgM switch region probe suggest that immunoglobulin heavy chain sequences have been co-amplified with the translocated c-myc sequences. Differential sedimentation was used to determine whether the amplified sequences reside in high-molecular-weight chromosomes or low-molecular-weight extrachromosomal DNA. In JD40 and ST486 cells, the amplified c-myc sequences were found on high molecular-weight chromosomes; ST486 cells also contained translocated c-myc sequences in low-molecular-weight, extrachromosomal DNA, as did CA46 cells. These conclusions were corroborated by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) of HeLa, CA46, ST486 and JD40 metaphase chromosomes. These results suggest that there is ongoing selection for cells containing amplified copies of the expressed c-myc sequences, and that there is continuous generation of extrachromosomal copies of the translocated c-myc sequences in ST486 and CA46 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 28 1998


  • Cancer
  • Gene amplification
  • Gene rearrangement
  • Oncogene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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