Frequent inactivation of the retinoblastoma anti-oncogene is restricted to a subset of human tumor cells

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Apr;87(7):2775-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.87.7.2775.


We have used polyclonal anti-synthetic peptide serum to study the role of retinoblastoma gene (RB) inactivation in a variety of human tumor cell lines. Our analysis indicates that inactivation of the RB protein, p105-Rb, is universal in retinoblastoma cells, vindicating the predictions of the Knudson "two-hit" hypothesis. In addition, our analysis has shown that inactivations of the RB gene are nearly as frequent in a more common human tumor, small cell lung carcinoma. One-third of bladder carcinomas surveyed also carry altered or absent p105-Rb. Other human tumors by contrast demonstrate only infrequent inactivation of the RB gene. These results suggest that inactivation of the RB gene is a critical step in the pathogenesis of a subset of human tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Eye Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Methionine / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Oncogenes*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma / genetics*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / metabolism


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Methionine