The genes for acetylcholinesterase (ACHE) and butyrylcholinesterase (CHE) are expressed in multiple tumor tissues, including ovarian carcinomas. Both CHE and ACHE genes coamplify in leukemias. To examine the relationship of gene amplification to the expression of these genes in tumors, ACHE and CHE genes and their expression were studied in primary ovarian carcinomas. DNA blot hybridization demonstrated a significant amplification and mutagenesis of both genes in 6 of 11 malignant tumors studied. This was greater or of the same order of magnitude as the amplification of the oncogenes c-rafi, v-sis, and c-fes in these tumors. No amplification was found in normal ovarian tissues or benign ovarian cysts. Xenopus oocyte microinjections, blot and in situ hybridizations, and immuno- and cytochemical staining revealed translatable CHEmRNA and its active protein product in discrete tumor foci. The frequent coamplification in ovarian carcinomas of ACHE and CHE genes implicates cholinesterases in neoplastic growth and/or proliferation.
Acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase genes coamplify in primary ovarian carcinomas
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