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Published April 1, 1988 | public
Journal Article

Cone cell-specific genes expressed in retinoblastoma


Retinoblastoma, an intraocular tumor that occurs in children, has long been regarded, on the basis of morphological criteria, as a malignancy of the photoreceptor cell lineage. Here it is shown that when this tumor is grown in vitro, the cells express highly specialized photoreceptor cell genes. Transcripts for the transducin alpha subunit, T_Cα, which is specific to the cone cell, as well as transcripts for the red or green cone cell photopigment, were found in seven out of seven low-passage retinoblastoma cell lines. No marker genes specific to rod cell were expressed, suggesting that retinoblastoma has a cone cell lineage.

Additional Information

© 1988 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 25 September 1987; accepted 26 January 1988. We thank J. Nathans for providing the photopigmentc DNA clones, A. Mock and H. Moghadam for technical assistance, and C. Stutters for secretarial assistance. Supported by PHS grant EY04950 from the National Eye Institute (E.B.) and by a grant from the National Science Foundation (M.S.).

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