High frequency of activation of tyrosine kinase oncogenes in human papillary thyroid carcinoma

I. Bongarzone, M. A. Pierotti, N. Monzini, P. Mondellini, G. Manenti, R. Donghi, S. Pilotti, M. Grieco, M. Santoro, A. Fusco, G. Vecchio, G. Della Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We had previously detected a transforming oncogene, designated PTC, in 25% of 20 papillary thyroid carcinomas. In order to characterize further the transforming activity of this tumour histotype, a new panel of tumour specimens from 16 patients was analysed by using a modified calcium phosphate-DNA coprecipitation transfection protocol. Tumour DNA from 10 patients (62%) displayed a transforming activity due to activation of three different oncogenes identified in four cases as PTC, in four cases as TRK, and in two cases as N-RAS. The same structural alterations of PTC and TRK (gene rearrangements) as well as of N-RAS (point mutation) detected in the NIH3T3 transformants, were also found in the original tumour DNAs, thus indicating that their activation was not due to transfection procedures. Since both PTC, a novel rearranged form of RET, and TRK display a tyrosine protein kinase activity, it is proposed that the activation of this class of oncogenes is specifically involved in the pathogenesis of papillary thyroid cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1457-1462
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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