Somatic cell hybrids were generated between an MCF-virus-induced 15-trisomic T-cell lymphoma of AKR origin with a proviral insertion near the c-myc locus, and normal diploid fibroblasts or lymphocytes of CBAT6T6 origin. Three lymphoma/fibroblast fusions were performed. Six independently-derived clones from 2 fusions were tested for tumorigenicity. Three of the 6 clones were weakly malignant (take incidence 20% below), and 3 were strongly malignant (take incidence over 80%). All 3 lymphoma/lymphocyte hybrids and 6 derived clones were strongly malignant. All hybrids contained a nearly complete chromosomal complement of both parental cells. This was confirmed at the molecular level by determining the ratio of germ-line (G) vs. rearranged (R) myc-carrying Eco RI fragments that showed the expected 1.9-2.7:1 proportion. Malignant segregants selected from the weakly malignant lymphoma/fibroblast hybrids by in vivo inoculation showed changed 15-chromosome ratios. Four out of the 6 clones showed amplification of the lymphoma-derived 15-chromosome that carries the R-myc fragment and a concomitant decrease in the average number of the G-myc-carrying chromosomes. This was deduced from the fact that the G:R ratio was between 2 and 3:1 in the in vitro hybrids but became inverted (1:2-3) in the tumors. Two tumors showed no amplification of R-myc. G-myc was decreased. One of these tumors showed a change in the G:R ratio from 2.5:1.0 to 1.2:1.0, while the other was essentially unchanged (1.9:1.0 in the in vitro clone and 2.2:1.0 in the derived tumor). These findings support the notion that both the amplification of the lymphoma-derived 15-chromosome with the retrovirally rearranged c-myc carrying fragment and/or the loss of the G-myc-carrying 15-chr can contribute to the tumorigenic potential of the hybrids.
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