Expression of six proto-oncogenes (fos, myc, myb, Ki-ras, Ha-ras, and N- ras) in 43 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was analyzed by means of in situ hybridization. Biotinylated DNA probes of the six oncogenes and those of immunoglobulin H (IgH) gene and T-cell receptor beta (TCR beta) chain gene were used. The results of in situ hybridization performed under blind conditions by IgH gene and TCR beta chain gene probes were compatible with those of typing by cell surface markers. The nuclear protein-related proto-oncogenes, fos, myc, and myb, were expressed in about 70% to 80% of all cases regardless of phenotype, histology, or histologic grade. On the contrary, genes of ras family were expressed in more limited numbers of cases except for the Ki-ras gene, which was more frequently expressed by cases of the T-cell immunophenotype with a high malignancy grade. The results of dot hybridization with RNA extracted from some cases were compatible with those of in situ hybridization, further demonstrating the specificity of in situ hybridization.

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