trk and ret proto-oncogene expression in human neuroblastoma specimens: high frequency of trk expression in non-advanced stages

Int J Cancer. 1993 Jun 19;54(4):540-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910540404.


Forty-three fresh tumor specimens of human neuroblastoma belonging to different clinical stages were analyzed for the expression of 2 proto-oncogenes: trk, which encodes a tyrosine-kinase receptor for nerve growth factor (NGF) and ret, another receptor-type tyrosine kinase whose ligand is unknown. The mRNA expression of the trk gene was detected in 67.4% of cases, with increased frequency in I, II and IVs Evans' stages and in patients with favorable prognosis according to the Shimada classification. Moreover, trk expression inversely correlated with Nmyc-gene amplification. ret mRNA was found in 36.8% of cases and equally distributed in the different stages. In addition, ngfR (low-affinity NGF receptor)-gene expression was present in 9 out of 25 cases. The simultaneous presence of mRNA related to both forms of the NGF receptor, while not proving the presence of a functional receptor, indicates the existence of a sub-set of neuroblastoma cells potentially responsive to NGF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / chemistry
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / mortality
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Proto-Oncogenes / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases*
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Ret protein, Drosophila