, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 365-371

Genomic instability in MycER-activated Rat1A-MycER cells

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The deregulated expression of c-Myc protein is associated with the non-random locus-specific amplification of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene. This study was performed to determine whether additional chromosomal aberrations occur when c-Myc protein levels are up-regulated for prolonged periods. To this end, we have used Rat1A-MycER cells, which allow the experimental regulation of Myc protein levels. We examined the genomic stability of Rat1A-MycER cells cultivated in either the absence or the presence of estrogen, which reportedly activates the chimeric MycER protein in these cells. Following prolonged periods of MycER activation, Rat1A-Mycer cells exhibited irreversible chromosomal aberrations. The aberrations included numerical changes, chromosome breakage, the formation of circular chromosomal structures, chromosome fusions, and extrachromosomal elements.