Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.284, No.3, 850-855, 2001
Altered expression of the fragile histidine triad gene in primary gastric adenocarcinomas
Genomic alterations and abnormal expression of the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene in gastric carcinomas were examined to determine whether the FHIT gene is actually a frequent target for alteration during gastric carcinogenesis. To correlate DNA and RNA lesions of the FHIT gene with the effect on FHIT protein expression, we have investigated the FHIT gene for loss of heterozygosity (LOH), aberrant transcripts, point mutations, and protein expression in 35 gastric adenocarcinomas. Allelic loss at D3S1300 was detected in 7 of 33 (21%) informative cases. Aberrant transcripts, with deletions and/or insertions, were observed in 20 of 35 (57.1%) cases and resulted from alternative splicing through exon skipping and/or insertion of the FHIT intron 5 sequence or activation of the cryptic splice site. Point mutations were not found in the FHIT coding region but detected in noncoding exon 2, 3, 4, or 5 of eight aberrant transcripts. Significant reduction of FHIT protein expression was observed in 22 of 35 (62.9%) cases. Aberrant FHIT transcription was shown to be associated with loss of FHIT protein expression. However, aberrant FHIT transcripts themselves were not associated with any clinicopathological parameters, such as age, sex, tumor site, or clinical stage. Moreover, there was no association between the presence of LOH at D3S1300 and the expression of aberrant FHIT transcripts. Nevertheless, high frequency of aberrant FHIT transcripts, significant rate of LOH at D3S1300, and altered expression of the FHIT protein indicate that alterations of the FHIT gene can play an important role in gastric carcinogenesis.