High frequency of LOH, MSI and abnormal expression of FHIT in gastric cancer
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Bergthorsson, J T
Jonasson, J G
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CitationEur. J. Cancer. 2002, 38(5):728-35
AbstractThe FHIT gene is a putative tumour suppressor gene. In this study, we analysed a set of 50 gastric tumours for alterations of FHIT, and found 38 of 45 tumours (84%) exhibiting loss of heterozygosity (LOH) within the FHIT gene. We used both nested Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and single step RT-PCR to analyse the FHIT transcripts and found 34 of 39 (87%) tumours and seven of the 11 (64%) corresponding non-cancerous tissues showed low or aberrant expression of FHIT mRNA and the appearance of the aberrant FHIT transcripts depended on the conditions of the RT-PCR. In these aberrant transcripts, frequent deletions and/or insertions were detected by direct sequencing. All breakpoints for deletions and insertions were at splicing sites. All insertions came from the adjacent introns, whose appearance was completely in accordance with the 'GU-AG' rule for pre-mRNA splicing. It may be suggested that an alternative splicing mechanism functions in the formation of these aberrant transcripts. The fragile nature of FRA3B within the FHIT gene could be responsible for the formation of the aberrant mRNA. Negative or reduced Fhit expression was detected in 39 of 50 tumours (78%). Moreover, an association was found between abnormal Fhit expression and positive node status (P=0.012). Thirteen of 48 tumours (27%) displayed microsatellite instability (MSI), among which 10 tumours also showed MSI within the FHIT gene. Furthermore, we detected an association between MSI and negative node status (P=0.02). We conclude that the abnormalities of FHIT, presumably associated with the unstable nature of FRA3B within the FHIT gene, are involved in the carcinogenesis of gastric cancer, and lack of mismatch repair (MMR) could possibly promote its alteration in a subset of gastric tumours.
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