Structural alterations of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene in human gliomas.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene is amplified in 40% of malignant gliomas, and the amplified genes are frequently rearranged. We have characterized the genetic alterations associated with these rearrangements in five malignant gliomas. In one tumor the rearrangement resulted in the deletion of most of the extracytoplasmic domain of the receptor, resulting in a hybrid mRNA between new sequences and the truncated EGFR sequence. The predicted amino acid sequence of the protein from this tumor was remarkably similar to that described for several viral erbB oncogenes. Four other tumors were noted to have internal deletions of the EGFR gene. These rearrangements brought about in-frame deletions affecting either of two cysteine-rich domains in the extracytoplasmic portion of the molecule. The clonal nature of these alterations, and the fact that identical alterations were seen in more than one tumor, suggests a role for these mutant receptor proteins in tumorigenesis. Further, these studies document the existence of tumor-specific cell surface molecules resulting from somatic mutation.
Wong, AJ; Ruppert, JM; Bigner, SH; Grzeschik, CH; Humphrey, PA; Bigner, DS; Vogelstein, B
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