We have examined the karyological consequences of dihydrofolate reductase gene amplification in a series of six rat hepatoma cell lines, all derived from the same clone. Cells of three of these lines express a series of liver-specific functions whereas those of three others fail to express these functions. Cells of each line have been subjected to stepwise selection for methotrexate resistance and, in most cases, resistance is associated with a 40-50-fold amplification of sequences hybridizing to a dihydrofolate reductase cDNA probe. In one line no modified chromosome is observed, whereas in two others the amplified genes are associated with an expanded chromosomal region. R-banding analysis of these karyotypes showed that few changes have occurred. These observations apply to two of the well-differentiated lines, and to a variant able to revert to the differentiated state. In contrast, in the two stably dedifferentiated hepatoma cell lines, amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes are found on large chromosomes of variable size, on ring chromosomes, and on chromosomes containing terminal, median, or multiple centromeres. We conclude that the nature of the chromosomal changes associated with dihydrofolate reductase gene amplification are the result of differences in cell lines rather than in the protocols employed for selection.

This content is only available as a PDF.