To determine the methylation pattern of c-Ha-ras oncogene in prostatic tissue and to identify possible changes of methylation associated with cancer, high molecular weight DNA was extracted from 7 normal and 6 carcinomatous human prostates. Analysis of the samples was performed by cleaving DNA with the restriction endonucleases Msp I, Hpa II and Cfo I, and by Southern hybridizing the DNA digests with the 32P-labelled c-Ha-ras (pT24-C3) probe. Several discrete fragments were obtained with Hpa II and Cfo I digestion while the Msp I pattern showed fewer and smaller bands. Therefore, c-Ha-ras appears to be partially methylated. While a considerable polymorphism of the sequence 5'-CCGG-3' was observed at several Msp I sites in all cases, no significant differences could be evidenced in the methylation patterns of normal and neoplastic prostatic DNA samples extracted and purified from each patient.
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