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Oncogene. 2005 Sep 29;24(43):6525-32.

THY1 is a candidate tumour suppressor gene with decreased expression in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong (SAR), People's Republic of China.


Using oligonucleotide microarray analysis, THY1, mapping close to a previously defined 11q22-23 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) critical region was identified as showing consistent downregulated expression in the tumour segregants, as compared to their parental tumour-suppressing microcell hybrids (MCHs). Gene expression and protein analyses show that THY1 was not expressed in the NPC HONE1 recipient cells, tumour segregants, and other NPC cell lines; THY1 was exclusively expressed in the non-tumourigenic MCHs. The mechanism of THY1 gene inactivation in these cell lines was attributed to hypermethylation. Clinical study showed that in 65% of NPC specimens there was either downregulation or loss of THY1 gene expression. Using a tissue microarray and immunohistochemical staining, 44% of the NPC cases showed downregulated expression of THY1 and 9% lost THY1 expression. The frequency of THY1 downregulated expression in lymph node metastatic NPC was 63%, which was significantly higher than in the primary tumour (33%). After transfection of THY1 gene into HONE1 cells, a dramatic reduction of colony formation ability was observed. These findings suggest that THY1 is a good candidate tumour suppressor gene in NPC, which is significantly associated with lymph node metastases.

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