The FHIT gene is located at a chromosomal site (3p14.2) which is commonly affected by translocations and deletions in human neoplasia. Although FHIT alterations at the DNA and RNA level are frequent in many types of tumours, the biological and clinical significance of these changes is not clear. In this study we aimed at correlating loss of Fhit protein expression with a large number of molecular genetic and clinical parameters in a well-characterized cohort of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Paraffin sections of 99 non-small-cell carcinomas were reacted with an anti-Fhit polyclonal antibody in a standard immunohistochemical reaction. Abnormal cases were characterized by complete loss of cytoplasmic Fhit staining. The Fhit staining results were then correlated with previously obtained clinical and molecular data. Fifty-two of 99 tumours lacked cytoplasmic Fhit staining, with preserved reactivity in adjacent normal cells. Lack of Fhit staining correlated with: loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the FHIT 3p14.2 locus, but not at other loci on 3p; squamous histology; LOH at 17p13 and 5q but not with LOH at multiple other suspected tumour suppressor gene loci; and was inversely correlated with codon 12 mutations in K- ras. Fhit expression was not correlated overall with a variety of clinical parameters including survival and was not associated with abnormalities of immunohistochemical expression of p53, RB, and p16. All of these findings are consistent with loss of Fhit protein expression being as frequent an abnormality in lung cancer pathogenesis as are p53 and p16 protein abnormalities and that such loss occurs independently of the commitment to the metastatic state and of most other molecular abnormalities. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
FHIT; immunohistochemistry; lung cancer; prognosis; loss of heterozygosity
AIM: To establish the role of FHIT in the pathogenesis hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: We examined genomic alterations, as well as, mRNA and protein expression patterns from the FHIT gene, in 48 surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues. Additionally, p53 mutations were analyzed.
RESULTS: Aberrant FHIT transcripts were detected in 11 of 48 surrounding non-tumor liver tissues and 27 of 48 HCC samples (22.9% vs 56.3%, P = 0.002). No point mutations were identified within the open reading frame region of FHIT. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the FHIT locus was detected in 4 of 42 informative cases for D3S1300, and 3 of 29 informative cases for D3S1313. Reduced expression of FHIT protein (Fhit) was observed in 8 (16.7%) of 48 HCC samples, with complete loss of Fhit in only 1 case. There were no associations with abnormal transcripts, LOH, and Fhit expression. p53 mutations were identified in 9 of the 48 HCC cases. However, none of the cases displayed a G to T transversion at p53 codon 249.
CONCLUSION: Aberrant FHIT transcripts were more common in HCC tissues as compared to non-cancerous liver tissues. However, Fhit expression was lost or reduced in a minor fraction of HCC tissues, while it was strongly expressed in non-cancerous liver tissues. Therefore, our study suggests that FHIT plays a role in relatively few HCC cases in South Korea.
Fragile histidine triad; Aberrant transcripts; Microsatellite instability; Protein expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma
The abnormalities of the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene in tissue samples of oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) along with several leukoplakias and an erythroplakia were examined to determine whether the FHIT gene is actually a frequent target in vivo for alteration during oral carcinogenesis. Abnormal transcripts of the FHIT gene were found in eight of 15 oral SCCs. Although these abnormal transcripts varied widely, deletion patterns incorporating a deletion of exon 5 were the most common. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis demonstrated that the abnormal FHIT transcripts found in cancer cells were attributable to abnormalities of the FHIT gene. Abnormal FHIT transcripts were also observed in two of seven premalignant lesions. Interestingly, in the case of one patient with a premalignant lesion showing an abnormal FHIT transcript, subsequent oral SCC developed during a 3-year follow-up period. On the other hand, in the two patients from whom both leukoplakia and SCC samples were taken simultaneously, abnormal FHIT transcripts were found only in the SCCs. Although the functional role of FHIT remains to be clarified, these results suggest that the FHIT alteration is actually involved in carcinogenesis of the oral epithelium. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
FHIT; gene alteration; microdissection; oral SCC; oral leukoplakia
Aim: The evaluation of allelic losses at the FHIT and the BRCA1 genes and at three other loci at the 17q region in a series of 34 sporadic breast cancer cases from Southern Brazil.
Methods: The samples were evaluated for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the FHIT and the BRCA1 genes and at three other microsatellite markers at 17q, and the findings were correlated with clinicopathological parameters.
Results: The BRCA1 intragenic marker, D17S855, had the highest frequency of LOH, detected in 10 of 24 informative cases, followed by the D17S579 (six of 23 informative cases), D17S806 (five of 21 informative cases), and D17S785 markers (five of 21 informative cases). LOH at the FHIT intragenic marker, D3S1300, was found in six of 25 informative cases. In four of the six cases with LOH of the FHIT gene, there was concomitant loss of the BRCA1 intragenic marker.
Conclusions: The frequency of allelic losses in the FHIT and BRCA1 loci in the Southern Brazilian population is similar to that described in the general population. No correlations were found when the total LOH frequency was compared with tumour size, grade, or presence of axillary lymph node metastasis. Further studies using larger sporadic breast cancer samples and additional markers would be useful to confirm these findings, in addition to establishing more specific associations with clinicopathological parameters in this specific population.
loss of heterozygosity; sporadic breast cancer; BRCA1 gene; FHIT gene
Loss of heterozygosity at the FHIT locus is coincident with activation of DNA damage response checkpoint proteins; thus damage at fragile loci may trigger checkpoint activation. We examined preneoplastic lesions adjacent to non-small cell lung carcinomas for alterations to expression of Fhit and activated checkpoint proteins. Expression scores were analyzed for pair-wise associations and correlations among proteins and type of lesion. Hyperplastic and dysplastic lesions were positive for nuclear H2AX expression; 12/20 dysplastic lesions were negative for Fhit expression. Fhit positive lesions showed expression of most checkpoint proteins examined, while Fhit negative lesions showed absence of expression of Chk1 and phosphoChk1. The results show that loss of expression of Fhit is significantly directly correlated with absence of activated Chk1 in dysplasia, and suggest a connection between loss of Fhit and modulation of checkpoint activity.
Fhit; Preneoplastic lesions of lung; DNA damage response checkpoint; chromosome fragile sites; squamous dysplasia
We examined 46 non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) for the presence of p53 mutations in exons 4-9, positive p53 immunostaining and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the TP53 locus. p53 mutations were detected in 13 tumour samples (28.3%), whereas overexpression of the p53 protein was found in 30 of 45 (67%) samples. Allelic loss was found in 9 of 38 (23.6%) informative cases. The statistical analysis revealed no significant correlation between p53 mutations and clinicopathological data, although mutations appear to occur more frequently in squamous cell carcinomas (7 of 18) than in adenocarcinomas (2 of 15). All but three individuals in this study group smoked. In contrast to previous reports, we found a higher prevalence of GC-->AT transitions than of GC-->TA transversions, as expected in a smoking population. A trend was found between p53-positive immunostaining and a history of heavy smoking (76-126 pack-years) and was inversely correlated with allelic deletion (LOH) at the TP53 locus. Eight of the 12 NSCLCs containing p53 mutations also had concomitant p53 overexpression, and it is of specific note that three of the four tumours containing p53 'mutations' with no overexpression of the p53 protein had either insertions or deletions in the p53 gene. No correlation was found between p53 mutations and fractional allele loss or ras mutations. p53 mutations in this Merseyside population in the UK do not appear to be as common as in other reports for NSCLC and exhibit predominance of GC-->AT transitions preferentially at non-CpG sites, suggesting that other carcinogens in addition to those in tobacco smoke may be involved in NSCLC in the Merseyside area of the UK.
Carcinogenesis results from an accumulation of several genetic alterations. Mutations in the p53 gene are frequent and occur at an early stage of lung carcinogenesis. Loss of multiple chromosomal regions is another genetic alteration frequently found in lung tumours. We have examined the association between p53 mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at frequently deleted loci in lung cancer, and tobacco exposure in 165 tumours from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. A highly significant association between p53 mutations and deletions on 3p, 5q, 9p, 11p and 17p was found. There was also a significant correlation between deletions at these loci. 86% of the tumours with concordant deletion in the 4 most involved loci (3p21, 5q11–13, 9p21 and 17p13) had p53 mutations as compared to only 8% of the tumours without deletions at the corresponding loci (P< 0.0001). Data were also examined in relation to smoking status of the patients and histology of the tumours. The frequency of deletions was significantly higher among smokers as compared to non-smokers. This difference was significant for the 3p21.3 (hMLH1 locus), 3p14.2 (FHIT locus), 5q11–13 (hMSH3 locus) and 9p21 (D9S157 locus). Tumours with deletions at the hMLH1 locus had higher levels of hydrophobic DNA adducts. Deletions were more common in squamous cell carcinomas than in adenocarcinomas. Covariate analysis revealed that histological type and p53 mutations were significant and independent parameters for predicting LOH status at several loci. In the pathogenesis of NSCLC exposure to tobacco carcinogens in addition to clonal selection may be the driving force in these alterations. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
non-small cell lung cancer; LOH; p53 mutations; smoking; DNA-adducts
LKB1/STK11 is a tumor suppressor and a negative regulator of mammalian target of rapamycin signaling. It is inactivated in 30% of lung cancer cell lines but only 5–15% of primary lung adenocarcinomas. There is evidence that homozygous deletion (HD) of chromosome 19p at the LKB locus contributes to the inactivation of the gene in primary human lung cancers. Here, we used several complementary genetic approaches to assess the LKB1 locus in primary non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). We first analyzed 124 NSCLC cases for allelic imbalance using eight microsatellite markers on chromosome 19p, which revealed an overall rate of 65% (80 of 124) loss of heterozygosity (LOH). We next used chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) to directly examine the chromosomal status of the LKB1 locus. In all, 65 of 124 LOH tested samples were available for CISH and 58 of those (89%) showed either loss of one copy of chromosome 19p (LOH, 40 of 65 cases, 62%) or both copies (HD 18 of 65 cases, 28%). The occurrence of HD was significantly more frequent in Caucasian (35%) than in African-American patients (6%) (P=0.04). A total of 62 of 124 samples with LOH at one or both markers immediately flanking the LKB1 gene were further analyzed by directly sequencing the complete coding region, which identified 7 of 62 (11%) tumors with somatic mutations in the gene. Jointly, our data identified total inactivation of the LKB1 gene by either HD or LOH with somatic mutation in 39% of tested samples, whereas loss of chromosome 19p region by HD or LOH at the LKB1 region occured in 90% of NSCLC.
LKB1 gene; LOH; homozygous deletion; mutation; CISH; primary lung cancer
Aims—Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at specific chromosomal regions strongly suggests the existence of tumour suppressor genes at the relevant segment. Frequent LOH on chromosome 5q has been reported in a wide variety of human tumours, including those of the lung. The aim of this study was to screen for LOH and to clarify the location of putative tumour suppressor genes on chromosome 5 implicated in the genesis and/or development of non-small cell lung carcinoma.
Methods—Thirty three patients with advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma were screened for LOH with a panel of 21 microsatellite DNA markers spanning the entire chromosome 5, using semi-automated fluorochrome based methodology.
Results—Twenty of the non-small cell lung carcinoma samples displayed LOH for one or more informative locus. LOH involving only 5q was found in 10 of 14 of the informative samples. Deletions involving 5p only were not present in the samples under study. There was no evidence of microsatellite instability in any of the analysed loci. These results indicate the presence of five distinct segments displaying high frequencies of deletion on chromosome 5, namely: 5q11.2–q12.2, 5q15 (D5S644 locus), 5q22.3–q23.1, 5q31.1, and 5q35.3. Eight of 14 samples had simultaneous interstitial deletions in at least two different regions. Moreover, concomitant deletion of three and four distinct regions was displayed in three of 14 and two of 14, respectively, of the informative samples.
Conclusion—Allelic deletion on chromosome 5 is a frequent event in patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma. These results suggest the involvement of these five regions, either independently or simultaneously, in both lung squamous cell carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma.
non-small cell lung carcinoma; chromosome 5; loss of heterozygosity
BACKGROUND: Human FHIT (fragile histidine triad) gene is highly conserved gene homologous to a group of genes identified in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Loss of FHIT function may be important in the development and/or progression of various types of cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We undertook a clinical study to analyze the relation between aberrant function of FHIT gene, tumor cell proliferation, and intensity of apoptosis as well as prognostic output in lung and squamous cell head and neck carcinoma (HNSCC). Status of FHIT gene, expression of p21waf1, intensity of apoptosis, and cell proliferation were analyzed in HNSCC and lung carcinoma tissues by molecular genetic methods, immunohistochemistry, [3H]-thymidine labeling method, and FACScan analysis in frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue sections. RESULTS: The majority of the malignant lung and HNSCC lesions displayed aberrant expression of FHIT gene, followed by low or negative expression of p21waf1, and increased intensity of cell proliferation. Similar results were obtained on synchronous combinations of normal, precancerous, and cancerous head and neck tissues. The observed changes increased with progression of these lesions. We examined tumor and corresponding normal tissue samples for microsatellite markers D3S1300 and D3S4103 to evaluate the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the FHIT gene loci. We found high percentage of LOH in both lung tumors and HNSCC (75% for D3S1300 and 79% for D3S4103 in lung cancer, and 87% for D3S1300 and 78% for D3S4103 in HNSCC). The median survival time of the patients suffering from lung cancer without FHIT protein expression was 22.46 months and that of the patients with FHIT expression 36.04 months. FHIT-negative cases tended to correlate with a worse prognosis, but this was not statistically significant. Median survival time of HNSCC patients without FHIT protein expression was 30.86 months and that of the patients with FHIT expression was 64.04 months (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results show a correlation between aberrant FHIT expression, a low rate of apoptosis, and high tumor cell proliferation. Aberrant FHIT gene could be a prognostic marker in lung cancer.
Background/Aims: LKB1 is a tumour suppressor gene that is associated with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS), a rare autosomal dominant cancer predisposition syndrome. However, germline mutations in the LKB1 gene are found in only about 60% of patients with PJS, suggesting the existence of a second PJS gene. The STRAD gene, encoding an LKB1 interacting protein that activates LKB1, which subsequently leads to polarisation of cells, is an interesting candidate for a second PJS gene and a potential tumour suppressor gene in sporadic carcinomas.
Methods: The involvement of STRAD in 42 PJS associated tumours (sporadic lung, colon, gastric, and ovarian adenocarcinomas) was studied using loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis of eight microsatellite markers on chromosome 17, including TP53, BRCA1, and STRAD markers.
Results: Loss of the marker near the STRAD locus was seen in 13 of 29 informative cases, including all gastric adenocarcinomas. Specific LOH of the STRAD marker was found in four of 29 informative cases. For these patients all exons and exon–intron boundaries of the STRAD gene were sequenced, but no somatic mutations were identified. Furthermore, no germline STRAD mutations were found in 10 patients with PJS and family members without LKB1 germline mutation.
Conclusions: Despite the frequent occurrence of LOH in the STRAD region, these results indicate that inactivation of the STRAD gene is not essential in the sporadic adenocarcinomas studied, although it is possible that STRAD may be inactivated in different ways. In addition, no evidence was found for the hypothesis that STRAD is a second PJS susceptibility gene.
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome; LKB1; STRAD; loss of heterozygosity
FHIT is a novel tumor suppressor gene located at human chromosome 3p14.2. Restoration of wild-type FHIT in 3p14.2-deficient human lung cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed potential upstream/downstream molecular targets of the FHIT protein and found that FHIT specifically targeted and regulated death receptor (DR) genes in human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Exogenous expression of FHIT by a recombinant adenoviral vector (Ad)-mediated gene transfer upregulated expression of DR genes. Treatment with a recombinant TRAIL protein, a DR-specific ligand, in Ad-FHIT-transduced NSCLC cells considerably enhanced FHIT-induced apoptosis, further demonstrating the involvement of DRs in FHIT-induced apoptosis. Moreover, we also found that FHIT targeted downstream of the DR-mediated signaling pathway. FHIT overexpression disrupted mitochondrial membrane integrity and activated multiple pro-apoptotic proteins in NSCLC cell. These results suggest that FHIT induces apoptosis through a sequential activation of DR-mediated pro-apoptotic signaling pathways in human NSCLC cells.
FHIT; tumor suppressor; apoptosis; death receptor; caspase; lung cancer
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of subjects from Japan and South Korea reported a novel association between the TP63 locus on chromosome 3q28 and risk of lung adenocarcinoma (p = 7.3 × 10−12); however, this association did not achieve genome-wide significance (p < 10−7) among never-smoking males or females. To determine if this association with lung cancer risk is independent of tobacco use, we genotyped the TP63 SNPs reported by the previous GWAS (rs10937405 and rs4488809) in 3,467 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 3,787 never-smoking female controls from 10 studies conducted in Taiwan, Mainland China, South Korea, and Singapore. Genetic variation in rs10937405 was associated with risk of lung adenocarcinoma [n = 2,529 cases; p = 7.1 × 10−8; allelic risk = 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.74–0.87]. There was also evidence of association with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (n = 302 cases; p = 0.037; allelic risk = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67–0.99). Our findings provide strong evidence that genetic variation in TP63 is associated with the risk of lung adenocarcinoma among Asian females in the absence of tobacco smoking.
Fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene encodes a putative tumour suppressor protein. Loss of Fhit protein in cancer is attributed to different genetic alterations that affect the FHIT gene structure. In this study, we investigated the pattern of homozygous deletion that target the FHIT gene exons 3 to 9 genomic structure in Egyptian breast cancer patients. We have found that 65% (40 out of 62) of the cases exhibited homozygous deletion in at least one FHIT exon. The incidence of homozygous deletion was not associated with patients' clinicopathological parameters including patients' age, tumour grade, tumour type, and lymph node involvement. Using correlation analysis, we have observed a strong correlation between homozygous deletions of exon 3 and exon 4 (P < 0.0001). Deletions in exon 5 were positively correlated with deletions in exon 7 (P < 0.0001), Exon 8 (P < 0.027), and exon 9 (P = 0.04). Additionally, a strong correlation was observed between exons 8 and exon 9 (P < 0.0001).We conclude that FHIT gene exons are homozygously deleted at high frequency in Egyptian women population diagnosed with breast cancer. Three different patterns of homozygous deletion were observed in this population indicating different mechanisms of targeting FHIT gene genomic structure.
The FHIT gene, recently cloned and mapped on chromosome 3p14.2, has frequently been found to be abnormal in several established cancer cell lines and primary tumours. As alterations of chromosome 3p are common events in ovarian cancers with breakpoint sites at 3p14.2, we decided to investigate the role of FHIT in human ovarian tumorigenesis. Fifty-four primary ovarian carcinomas were studied by reverse transcription of FHIT mRNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of products. The same tumours and matched normal tissues were also investigated for loss of heterozygosity using three microsatellite markers located inside the gene. We found an abnormal transcript of the FHIT gene in two cases (4%) and allelic losses in eight cases (15%). Twelve (22%) of the 54 tumours investigated belonged to young patients with a family history of breast/ovarian cancer. In none of these cases was the FHITgene found to be altered. Our results indicate that FHITplays a role in a small proportion of ovarian carcinomas.
Allelic imbalance or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) has been widely used to assess genetic instability in tumours, and high LOH on chromosome arms 3p, 9p and 17p has been considered to be a common event in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We have investigated allelic imbalance in 45 NSCLCs using 92 microsatellite markers on 38 chromosome arms. LOH of 38% was observed on 3p using nine markers, 58% on 9p using 15 markers and 38% on 17p using five markers. Fractional allele loss (FAL) has been calculated for each tumour (FAL is the number of chromosome arms showing LOH/number of informative chromosome arms) and a median FAL value of 0.09 was obtained in the 45 NSCLCs studied. The LOH data were examined on the basis of FAL scores: low FAL (LFAL) (0.00-0.04), medium FAL (MFAL) (0.05-0.13) and high FAL (HFAL) (0.14-0.45) based symmetrically around the median FAL value of 0.09. Tumours with HFAL values showed a very clear polarisation of the LOH data on chromosome arms 3p, 9p and 17p, such that 80% showed loss on 3p, 80% on 9p and 73% on 17p. These incidences of LOH were significantly higher than would be expected, since overall genetic instability in these HFAL tumours ranged from 14% to 45% LOH. Nine of the 14 patients in the LFAL group were found to have no LOH on 3p, 9p or 17p, but five of these had LOH at other sites: i.e. LOH on 5p, 5q, 8p, 13q, 16q and 19q. These results indicate that LFAL patients form a new subset of NSCLC tumours with distinct molecular-initating events, and may represent a discrete genetic population.
We analysed 78 carcinomas of the lung for allelic losses on chromosome 10q. The tumours were of different stage and grade and comprised 22 small-cell lung carcinomas (SCLC), 40 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), 11 adenocarcinomas, four large-cell carcinomas and one carcinoid. They were investigated by six polymorphic markers located between 10q21 and 10qter. We observed a high incidence of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in SCLC (91%) and metastatic SCC (56%). Non-metastatic SCC showed deletions in three cases (14%) and no LOH was found in the other types of non-small-cell lung cancer. The statistical analysis indicated that the presence of LOH correlated significantly with advanced tumour stages in the entire collective and in particular within the SCLC and SCC subgroups. For SCC, a positive association was found between LOH and metastases formation, while in SCLC the number of non-metastatic tumours was too small for a final conclusion. Whereas SCLC was frequently characterized by multiple allelic losses, suggesting the deletion of the entire chromosomal arm, SCC showed interstitial imbalances. A high incidence of allelic loss was observed between the markers D10S677 and D10S1223. The analysis of five informative cases suggested the presence of two non-overlapping regions between the loci D10S677/D10S1237 and D10S1213/D10S1223. In SCLC, we did not find mutations in the putative tumour-suppressor gene MXI1. The data indicate that LOH on chromosome 10q is associated with tumour progression in SCC and SCLC. Thus it may become a useful genetic marker in the assessment of the malignant potential of these tumour types.
The FHIT (fragile histidine triad) gene on chromosome 3p14.2 is a candidate tumour suppressor gene. To define the role of the FHIT gene in the development of ovarian cancer, we have examined 33 ovarian carcinomas, 2 borderline tumours and 10 benign adenomas for the presence of FHIT gene alterations. FHIT transcripts were analysed by RT-PCR and sequencing. Aberrant FHIT transcripts were observed in 5/33 carcinomas (15%) and in 1 of 2 borderline tumours. Loss of normal FHIT transcript was observed in 5/33 carcinomas (15%) but not in 2 borderline tumours or 10 benign adenomas. Allelic losses at D3S1300 and D3S4103, both located within intron 5 of FHIT were detected in 5/24 (21%) and 5/25 (20%) informative ovarian carcinomas, respectively. Expression of Fhit protein was analysed by immunohistochemistry in 44 carcinomas, 19 borderline tumours and 16 benign adenomas. Loss or significantly reduced expression of Fhit protein was observed in 6/44 (14%) ovarian carcinomas but not in any of 19 borderline tumours or 16 benign adenomas. The impaired Fhit protein expression was significantly correlated with the loss of normal FHIT transcription. Most notably, loss of normal FHIT transcript and impaired expression of Fhit protein occurred only in serous adenocarcinomas of grade 2 and 3 (5/15; 33% and 6/19; 32%, respectively). The present data suggest that inactivation of the FHIT gene by loss of expression is one of the important molecular events associated with the genesis of ovarian carcinoma, especially of high-grade serous carcinoma. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
FHIT (fragile histidine triad) gene; ovarian tumour; serous carcinoma
AIMS: To study the loss of heterozygosity at the short arm of chromosome 3 in primary tumours from patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; to determine whether the FHIT gene, mapped to 3p14.2 and the CTNNB1 (beta-cat) gene, mapped to 3p21, are deleted or mutated in these tumours. METHODS: DNA was extracted from fresh tumours. Loss of heterozygosity was assessed by microsatellite analysis of the following markers: D3S1283 and D3S1286 (3p24), D3S966 (3p21), and D3S1300 (3P14.2). Homozygous deletion was determined by radioactive multiplex polymerase chain reaction of exons 5 and 6 of the FHIT gene. The presence of mutations in FHIT exon 5 and beta-cat exon 3 was studied by single strand conformation polymorphism. RESULTS: 50% of informative cases (25/50) showed loss of heterozygosity for at least one of the 3p markers. 3p21 was the region with the highest rate of allelic deletion (63%). No point mutation was found in FHIT exon 5 or beta-cat exon 3. No case showed homozygous deletion for the FHIT (exons 5 and 6) or the beta-cat exon 3. CONCLUSIONS: The short arm of chromosome 3 is often deleted in the head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. In the remaining alleles of the FHIT or beta-cat genes, no evidence was found for point mutations or deletions, documented in other common carcinomas. Inactivation could occur by different mechanisms such as methylation, or other genes (not studied here) could be target of allelic losses in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
To evaluate the relevance of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) status in relation to drug treatment, we analyzed the sensitivity of the Fhit-negative non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line NCI-H460 to different drugs, after treatment with an adenoviral vector expressing the FHIT transgene. Expression of Fhit resulted in reduced sensitivity to etoposide, doxorubicin, and topotecan. This feature was associated with Fhit-induced downregulation of DNA topoisomerases I and II. In contrast, expression of Fhit did not modulate sensitivity to Taxol, but produced a slight increase in sensitivity to cisplatin, as shown by colony-forming assays. Analysis of apoptosis revealed that, after cisplatin exposure, the number of apoptotic cells was two-fold higher in Fhit-expressing H460 cells. Moreover, it appeared that wild-type p53 was required for sensitization to cisplatin because the effect was marginal in A549 and Calu-1 cells, where the p53 pathway is altered and simultaneous restoration of p53 and Fhit in Calu-1 cells increased cisplatin sensitivity. Fhit could also partially restore sensitivity to cisplatin in Bcl-2- and Bcl-xL-overexpressing H460 cells that are normally resistant to this drug. Our results support the possible relevance of FHIT in cisplatin-based chemotherapy as well as in the reversal of drug resistance in NSCLC.
Lung cancer; Fhit; cisplatin; chemosensitivity; apoptosis
Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1, also known as EBP50 or NHERF) is a putative tumour suppressor gene in human breast cancer. Located at 17q25.1, NHERF1 is frequently targeted during breast tumourigenesis. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the NHERF1 locus is found in more than 50% of breast tumours. In addition, NHERF1 is mutated in a subset of primary breast tumours and breast cancer cell lines. LOH at the NHERF1 locus is strongly associated with aggressive features of breast tumours, implicating NHERF1 as a haploinsufficiency tumour suppressor gene. However, the putative NHERF1 tumour suppressor activity has not been functionally verified.
To confirm the NHERF1 tumour suppressor activity suggested by our genetic analyses, we used retrovirus-transduced short hairpin RNA (shRNA) to knock down NHERF1 expression in breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and T47D. These cells were then assessed for cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The control and NHERF1 knockdown cells were also serum-starved and re-fed to compare their cell cycle progression as measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analyses.
We found that downregulation of the endogenous NHERF1 in T47D or MCF7 cells resulted in enhanced cell proliferation in both anchorage-dependent and -independent conditions compared with that of the vector control cells. NHERF1 knockdown T47D cells implanted at mammary fat pads of athymic mice formed larger tumours than did control cells. We found that serum-starved NHERF1 knockdown cells had a faster G1-to-S transition after serum re-stimulation than the control cells. Immunoblotting showed that the accelerated cell cycle progression in NHERF1 knockdown cells was accompanied by increased expression of cyclin E and elevated Rb phosphorylation level.
Our findings suggested that the normal NHERF1 function in mammary epithelial cells involves blockage of cell cycle progression. Our study affirmed the tumour suppressor activity of NHERF1 in breast which may be related to its regulatory effect on cell cycle. It warrants future investigation of this novel tumour suppressor pathway in human breast cancer which may turn up therapeutic opportunities.
Gastric cancer is the second most common cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The KLF6 tumour suppressor gene has been previously shown to be inactivated in a number of human cancers through loss of heterozygosity (LOH), somatic mutation, decreased expression, and increased alternative splicing into a dominant negative oncogenic splice variant, KLF6-SV1. In this present study, thirty seven gastric cancer samples were analysed for the presence of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the KLF6 locus and somatic mutation. In total, 18 of 34 (53%) of the gastric cancer samples analysed demonstrated KLF6 locus specific loss. Four missense mutations, T179I, R198G, R71Q, and S180L were detected. Interestingly, two of these mutations R71Q and S180L have been identified independently by several groups in various malignancies including prostate, colorectal and gastric cancer. In addition, decreased wtKLF6 expression was associated with loss of the KLF6 locus and was present in 48% of primary gastric tumour samples analysed. Functional studies confirmed that wtKLF6 suppressed proliferation of gastric cancer cells via transcriptional regulation of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21 and the oncogene c-myc. Functional characterization of the common tumour-derived mutants demonstrated that the mutant proteins fail to suppress proliferation and function as dominant negative regulators of wtKLF6 function. Furthermore, stable overexpression of the R71Q and S180L tumour derived mutants in the gastric cancer cell line, Hs746T resulted in increased tumourigenicity in vivo. Combined, these findings suggest an important role for the KLF6 tumour suppressor gene in gastric cancer development and progression and identify several highly cancer-relevant signaling pathways regulated by the KLF6 tumour suppressor gene.
Kruppel-like; tumour suppressor gene; gastric cancer; loss of heterozygosity; somatic mutation
To investigate what kind of genetic instability plays important roles in lung carcinogenesis, we analyzed micro- and minisatellite instability, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and chromosome instability in 55 cases of lung cancer, including, 10 squamous cell, 5 large cell, and 3 small cell carcinomas, and 37 adenocarcinomas. Analysis of minisatellite instability, the mechanism of which is different from microsatellite instability, has not been reported previously. Minisatellite instability was detected in only one case (1/55, 1.8%), and the frequency of microsatellite instability was low, being found only in three cases (3/55, 5.5%). In contrast, LOH, for at least in one locus, was observed in 27 cases (49.1%). In adenocarcinomas, the frequency of LOH was higher in poorly differentiated compared to more differentiated carcinomas. For chromosome instability, a similar correlation between differentiation grade and instability was observed in adenocarcinomas. And instability was more common in large cell and small cell carcinomas than in adenocarcinomas. Our analysis showed that chromosome instability and LOH, rather than mini- and microsatellite instability, play significant roles in the development of lung cancer.
minisatellite instability; microsatellite instability; loss of heterozygosity (LOH); chromosome instability; lung cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a heterogeneous group of disorders with a number of genetic and proteomic alterations. c-CBL is an E3 ubiquitin ligase and adaptor molecule important in normal homeostasis and cancer. We determined the genetic variations of c-CBL, relationship to receptor tyrosine kinases (EGFR and MET), and functionality in NSCLC.
Methods and Findings
Using archival formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) extracted genomic DNA, we show that c-CBL mutations occur in somatic fashion for lung cancers. c-CBL mutations were not mutually exclusive of MET or EGFR mutations; however they were independent of p53 and KRAS mutations. In normal/tumor pairwise analysis, there was significant loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for the c-CBL locus (22%, n = 8/37) and none of these samples revealed any mutation in the remaining copy of c-CBL. The c-CBL LOH also positively correlated with EGFR and MET mutations observed in the same samples. Using select c-CBL somatic mutations such as S80N/H94Y, Q249E and W802* (obtained from Caucasian, Taiwanese and African-American samples, respectively) transfected in NSCLC cell lines, there was increased cell viability and cell motility.
Taking the overall mutation rate of c-CBL to be a combination as somatic missense mutation and LOH, it is clear that c-CBL is highly mutated in lung cancers and may play an essential role in lung tumorigenesis and metastasis.
Genomic instability drives tumorigenesis, but how it is initiated in sporadic neoplasias is unknown. In early preneoplasias, alterations at chromosome fragile sites arise due to DNA replication stress. A frequent, perhaps earliest, genetic alteration in preneoplasias is deletion within the fragile FRA3B/FHIT locus, leading to loss of Fhit protein expression. Because common chromosome fragile sites are exquisitely sensitive to replication stress, it has been proposed that their clonal alterations in cancer cells are due to stress sensitivity rather than to a selective advantage imparted by loss of expression of fragile gene products. Here, we show in normal, transformed, and cancer-derived cell lines that Fhit-depletion causes replication stress-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Using DNA combing, we observed a defect in replication fork progression in Fhit-deficient cells that stemmed primarily from fork stalling and collapse. The likely mechanism for the role of Fhit in replication fork progression is through regulation of Thymidine kinase 1 expression and thymidine triphosphate pool levels; notably, restoration of nucleotide balance rescued DNA replication defects and suppressed DNA breakage in Fhit-deficient cells. Depletion of Fhit did not activate the DNA damage response nor cause cell cycle arrest, allowing continued cell proliferation and ongoing chromosomal instability. This finding was in accord with in vivo studies, as Fhit knockout mouse tissue showed no evidence of cell cycle arrest or senescence yet exhibited numerous somatic DNA copy number aberrations at replication stress-sensitive loci. Furthermore, cells established from Fhit knockout tissue showed rapid immortalization and selection of DNA deletions and amplifications, including amplification of the Mdm2 gene, suggesting that Fhit loss-induced genome instability facilitates transformation. We propose that loss of Fhit expression in precancerous lesions is the first step in the initiation of genomic instability, linking alterations at common fragile sites to the origin of genome instability.
Normal cells have robust mechanisms to maintain the proper sequence of their DNA; in cancer cells these mechanisms are compromised, resulting in complex changes in the DNA of tumors. How this genome instability begins has not been defined, except in cases of familial cancers, which often have mutations in genes called “caretaker” genes, necessary to preserve DNA stability. We have defined a mechanism for genome instability in non-familial tumors that occur sporadically in the population. Certain fragile regions of our DNA are more difficult to duplicate during cell division and are prone to breakage. A fragile region, FRA3B, lies within the FHIT gene, and deletions within FRA3B are common in precancer cells, causing loss of Fhit protein expression. We find that loss of Fhit protein causes defective DNA replication, leading to further DNA breaks. Cells that continue DNA replication in the absence of Fhit develop numerous chromosomal aberrations. Importantly, cells established from tissues of mice that are missing Fhit undergo selection for increasing DNA alterations that can promote immortality, a cancer cell hallmark. Thus, loss of Fhit expression in precancer cells is the first step in the initiation of genomic instability and facilitates cancer development.