We developed a new approach for detecting the gene amplification of cancer DNAs with restriction landmark genomic scanning (RLGS). In cancer research, much effort has been made to find the amplified loci of cancer DNAs, because many lines of evidence indicate association between oncogene amplification and carcinogenesis. Conventionally, such gene amplification has been detected by using Southern hybridization with DNA probes. However, only the information of one locus can be obtained by one hybridization procedure, and analysis of many loci throughout the genome is too laborious and time consuming, even if only several candidate genes are investigated. On the other hand, the “in-gel renaturation method” was reported as another alternative for detection of amplified regions. However, even though this method is much improved, it is difficult to detect less than 7-fold amplification, which is often higher than the amplification of many cancer cases. To overcome these limitations and, in addition, to locate the amplified DNA two dimensionally, we applied RLGS for analysis of DNA amplification in cancer tissues, such as breast cancer (infiltrative tubuloadenocarcinoma), neuroblastoma, meningioma (endotheliomatous meningioma), and thyroid cancer (papillary adenocarcinoma). In some cases of breast cancer, several amplified spots located on the same amplicon were detected. In thyroid cancer, in which no amplification has yet been reported, low-grade amplification was also detected. In this report, we demonstrated that RLGS allows us to screen 2000–3000 restriction landmarks distributed on the genome simultaneously, and even low-grade amplification could be detected effectively. Thus, RLGS has proven to be a very useful method in detecting DNA amplification.

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Supported by a Research Grant for Aging from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and a grant for the Human Genome Project from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Japan.

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