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Lung Cancer. 2012 Jan;75(1):58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.05.019.

Insights into the achaete-scute homolog-1 gene (hASH1) in normal and neoplastic human lung.

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  • 1Cell and Cancer Biology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

Achaete-scute homolog-1 (ASH1) is pivotal for the development of pulmonary neuroendocrine (NE) cells. We examined human ASH1 (hASH1) expression across a comprehensive panel of human lung cancer cell lines, primary human lung tumors and normal fetal and post-natal lungs. While hASH1 was a cardinal feature of NE carcinomas, a subgroup of non-NE lung cancers also exhibited expression of this factor. Twenty lung cancer cell lines out of 33 were positive for hASH1 mRNA by reverse transcription PCR, including 6/6 small cell carcinomas (SCLC), 5/5 carcinoids, 6/7 non-SCLC with NE features, and 3/14 other non-SCLC. Among human primary tumors, 2/2 SCLC, 5/5 pulmonary carcinoids, and 10/41 non-SCLC (only 4 of which had NE features) were positive for hASH1 by immunohistochemistry and RNA-RNA in situ hybridization. In normal human fetal lung, the expression of hASH1 and the neural marker synaptophysin was highly concordant in neuroepithelial bodies and solitary NE cells, while the rest of the epithelium was negative. In childhood and adulthood, the markers became progressively discordant, with a majority of hASH1-immunoreactive foci (69%) being negative for synaptophysin in adults, potentially representing dormant NE cell progenitors. We conclude that hASH1 provides an early indication of NE program in human lung.

Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

PMID:
21684625
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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