We have analyzed paired samples of genomic DNA from peripheral leukocyte and primary tumor tissue from nine patients with retinoblastoma (RB) and from two RB cell lines, WERI-Rb-1 and Y79, to detect the molecular alterations of the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene (RB-1) and N-myc gene. In Southern analysis, RB-1 deletions in tumor tissues were detected in five patients (56%), one of these revealed a total loss of RB-1. N-myc amplification was found only in one (11.1%) out of nine patients. We also observed a total loss of RB-1 in WERI-Rb-1, and a more than 100-fold amplification of N-myc in Y79. The analysis of the relationship between molecular events and clinical characteristics such as age, sex, tumor laterality did not reveal any specific correlation. These results suggest that genetic backgrounds of RB in Korean patients are quite similar to those of reported cases elsewhere. The high sensitivity of our method in detecting the RB-1 loss indicates that this method can be a useful tool for initially screening a large number of tumors.
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