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Gynecol Oncol. 2000 Jul;78(1):10-5.

Frequent down-regulation and lack of mutation of the KAI1 metastasis suppressor gene in epithelial ovarian carcinoma.

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  • 1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, Republic of China.



KAI1 is a recently identified metastasis suppressor gene on human chromosome 11p11.2. It belongs to a structurally distinct family of cell surface glycoproteins. Decreased KAI1 expression seems to be involved in the progression of human prostate, lung, pancreatic, and possibly breast cancer, and recently a reduced KAI1 protein expression has been demonstrated in several ovarian carcinoma cell lines. The aim of this study is to determine whether the KAI1 gene is altered in human epithelial ovarian carcinomas. In addition, its prognostic significance in this tumor is also evaluated.


To detect KAI1 expression, 102 tumor samples from benign, borderline, primary invasive, metastatic, and recurrent epithelial ovarian tumors were prepared for immunohistochemical study with C-16, an anti-KAI1 polyclonal antibody. In addition, cellular RNA from 24 primary invasive and 7 recurrent tumors was also analyzed for KAI1 expression by using a reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) technique. The PCR single-strand conformation polymorphism method and direct DNA sequencing were used to detect KAI1 mutation in the 44 primary invasive and 8 recurrent ovarian carcinomas.


In immunohistochemical study, decrease of KAI1 protein expression was associated with the progression of ovarian tumor. However, it had no relation to the stage of primary invasive cancers because of its frequent occurrence in early stage tumors. KAI1 expression was also frequently down-regulated in primary invasive and recurrent tumors in RT-PCR analysis. Except for a missense change at codon 241 (ATC to GTC), which causes the substitution of a valine for an isoleucine in the amino acid sequence and occurs in both normal and tumor tissues, no mutation of the KAI1 gene was found in any of the 52 carcinomas. Although there was a trend for deteriorating survival from patients with KAI1-preserved tumors to those with KAI1-decreased and -negative tumors, statistically it was not significant (P = 0.079).


KAI1 may play a role in the malignant progression of epithelial ovarian carcinoma through the down-regulation of expression rather than gene mutation. Since the decreased expression presented frequently in early stage tumors, it may be an early event in the progression of this tumor and its prognostic significance needs further investigation with a larger number of cases.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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