The genesis and progression of malignant tumors may be related to certain somatic mutations and the accumulation of multiple chromosomal alterations. Using four freshly resected malignant tumors, we investigated the relationship between chromosomal alteration and expression of cell cycle regulatory genes. Specimens of thyroid hyperplasia and normal thyroid tissue were also investigated. As cell cycle regulating genes, we chose the cdc2 gene that encodes the p34cdc2 protein kinase, a major kinase of the cell cycle, and the RCC1 gene that is essential for coupling between S and M phases. Three of the malignant tumors contained cells with chromosomal alterations, including one polyploid and two aneuploid. The DNA content of cells in thyroid hyperplasia was the same as in the normal gland. The amount of p34cdc2 protein was very low in cells of both normal thyroid and hyperplastic tissue, and grew very slowly as compared with malignant tumors. There was no significant relationship between the amount of RCC1 and ploidy pattern.
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