Analysis of genomic organization and expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFR) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in human malignant gliomas showed amplification and over-expression of both receptors in distinct subsets of tumors. Amplification of the αPDGFR was detected in 4 of 50 glioblastomas (8%). EGFR was amplified in 9 of the 50 tumors (18%). Western blot analysis showed elevated expression of αPDGFR and EGFR proteins in 4 (24%) and 3 (18%), respectively, of 17 tumor specimens analyzed. Increased production of αPDGFR as well as EGFR proteins was observed in the presence or absence of gene amplification. Three of the 4 tumors with elevated levels of αPDGFR also overexpressed the βPDGFR, which was present as a single copy gene in all 50 tumors analyzed. Our findings suggest that the amplification and/or overexpression either of EGFR or of the αPDGFR along with the coordinate overexpression of the βPDGFR can contribute to the malignant phenotype of distinct subsets of human glioblastoma.

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