Over-expression and amplification of the CDC2 gene in leukaemia cells


Dr Masaki Saito, Division of Haemopoiesis, Institute of Haematology, Jichi Medical School. Minamikawachimachi. Kawachi-gun. Tochigi 329-04, Japan.


The expression and structure of the cdc2 gene, one of the master regulators of the eukaryotic cell cycle, were investigated in fresh leukaemic cells from 51 cases of various types of leukaemia. Cdc2 mRNA transcripts were detectable in approximately 40% (21/51) of cases by Northern blotting. Over-expression of cdc2 mRNA as compared to normal bone marrow cells was noted in 10/21 cases with detectable cdc2 mRNA transcripts. Amplification of the cdc2 gene was found in three cases. Cdc2 mRNA was over-expressed in these three cases, suggesting that gene amplification is a direct cause of mRNA over-expression in a subset of cases. Cell proliferative capacity was well correlated with the amount of cdc2 mRNA transcripts, i.e. 3H-thymidine incorporation was highest in cases with cdc2 mRNA over-expression and was significantly higher in cdc2-positive cases than in cdc2-negative cases. These results suggest that over-expression of CDC2, which is due to the gene amplification in some cases, might play a role in altered growth of leukaemic cells.