Expression of the ret proto-oncogene product in human normal and neoplastic tissues of neural crest origin

J Pathol. 1994 Mar;172(3):255-60. doi: 10.1002/path.1711720305.


The histological localization of the ret proto-oncogene (proto-ret) product was examined in neural crest-derived and neuronal tissues together with their neoplastic counterparts by immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody. Schwann cells, neurons, sympathetic ganglia, and cells of the adrenal medulla were positive for the proto-ret product, whereas melanocytes were negative. Positive results were obtained from neural crest-derived tumours such as schwannoma (69 per cent, 11/16), neurofibroma (59 per cent, 13/22), neuroblastoma (80 per cent, 4/5), phaeochromocytoma (100 per cent, 3/3) and medullary thyroid carcinoma (100 per cent, 3/3). The antibody reacted with all of the 22 astrocytomas examined. With negative proto-ret expression in melanocytic tumours, proto-ret expression was considered to correlate with the differentiation of some lineages of neural crest-derived cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / chemistry
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cerebral Cortex / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue / genetics
  • Neural Crest / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis*
  • Schwann Cells / chemistry


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ret protein, Drosophila