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World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Feb 1;10(3):376-80.

Hemizygous deletion and hypermethylation of RUNX3 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, 304th Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100037, China.



To analyze the genetic and epigenetic alterations of RUNX3 gene, a potential putative tumor suppressor gene, in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


PCR-based loss of heterozygosity (LOH) detection, analysis of mutation with PCR-single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and sequencing, and methylation study with methylation specific PCR (MSP) were performed on RUNX3 gene in a series of 62 HCCs along with their matched normal tissues.


Mutation of RUNX3 gene was not found, but one single nucleotide polymorphism with T to A transversion at the second nucleotide of the 18th codon was found. Nine of 26 informative cases (34.6%) showed allelic loss on the polymorphic site and 30 cases (48.4%) revealed hypermethylation of RUNX3 gene in promoter CpG islands. Furthermore, of the 9 cases with LOH, 8 (88.9%) also had hypermethylation.


Our findings indicate that inactivation of RUNX3 gene through allelic loss and promoter hypermethylation might be one of the major mechanisms in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

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