Replication pattern of the pericentromeric region of chromosome 10q and expression of the RET protooncogene

R. Cinti, F. Schena, M. Passalacqua, I. Ceccherini, R. Ravazzolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulation of the RET gene is highly specific during embryo development and is strictly tissue-specific. Control of transcription depends on mechanisms influenced by epigenetic processes, in particular, histone acetylation at regions flanking the 5′ end of the gene. Since the RET gene is mapped in the pericentromeric region of the human chromosome 10, the implication of epigenetic processes is even more striking and worth to be investigated in an extended chromosomal tract. One experimental approach to study the chromatin status in relationship with gene transcription is to assess the replication timing, which we did by using fluorescent in situ hybridization in cells expressing or not expressing the RET gene. By using probes spanning a 700-kb genomic region from the RET locus toward the centromere, we found a relationship between RET expression and early replication. Different patterns were observed between cells naturally expressing RET and cells induced to expression of RET by treatment with sodium butyrate, an inhibitor of histone deacetylases. Three-dimensional analysis of the nuclear localization of fluorescent signals by confocal microscopy showed difference of localization between the RET probe and a probe for a housekeeping gene, G3PDH, located at 12p13.3, in cells that do not express RET, in accordance with previous data for other genes and chromosomal regions. However, RET-expressing cells showed a localization of signals which was not consistent with that expected for expressed genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-610
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2004


  • Chromosome 10
  • Epigenetic process
  • Gene transcription
  • Nuclear localization
  • Replication timing
  • RET
  • Sodium butyrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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