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Cancer Res. 1999 Feb 15;59(4):918-23.

Conserved mechanism of PLAG1 activation in salivary gland tumors with and without chromosome 8q12 abnormalities: identification of SII as a new fusion partner gene.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Göteborg University, Sweden.

Abstract

We have previously shown (K. Kas et al, Nat. Genet., 15: 170-174, 1997) that the developmentally regulated zinc finger gene pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) is the target gene in 8q12 in pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands with t(3;8)(p21;q12) translocations. The t(3;8) results in promoter swapping between PLAG1 and the constitutively expressed gene for beta-catenin (CTNNB1), leading to activation of PLAG1 expression and reduced expression of CTNNB1. Here we have studied the expression of PLAG1 by Northern blot analysis in 47 primary benign and malignant human tumors with or without cytogenetic abnormalities of 8q12. Overexpression of PLAG1 was found in 23 tumors (49%). Thirteen of 17 pleomorphic adenomas with a normal karyotype and 5 of 10 with 12q13-15 abnormalities overexpressed PLAG1, which demonstrates that PLAG1 activation is a frequent event in adenomas irrespective of karyotype. In contrast, PLAG1 was overexpressed in only 2 of 11 malignant salivary gland tumors analyzed, which suggests that, at least in salivary gland tumors, PLAG1 activation preferentially occurs in benign tumors. PLAG1 over-expression was also found in three of nine mesenchymal tumors, i.e., in two uterine leiomyomas and one leiomyosarcoma. RNase protection, rapid amplification of 5'-cDNA ends (5'-RACE), and reverse transcription-PCR analyses of five adenomas with a normal karyotype revealed fusion transcripts in three tumors. Nucleotide sequence analysis of these showed that they contained fusions between PLAG1 and CTNNB1 (one case) or PLAG1 and a novel fusion partner gene, i.e., the gene encoding the transcription elongation factor SII (two cases). The fusions occurred in the 5' noncoding region of PLAG1, leading to exchange of regulatory control elements and, as a consequence, activation of PLAG1 gene expression. Because all of the cases had grossly normal karyotypes, the rearrangements must result from cryptic rearrangements. The results suggest that in addition to chromosomal translocations and cryptic rearrangements, PLAG1 may also be activated by mutations or indirect mechanisms. Our findings establish a conserved mechanism of PLAG1 activation in salivary gland tumors with and without 8q12 aberrations, which indicates that such activation is a frequent event in these tumors.

PMID:
10029085
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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