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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 May 1;90(9):4166-70.

Identification of a colon mucosa gene that is down-regulated in colon adenomas and adenocarcinomas.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702-1201.


A cDNA, which we call DRA (for down-regulated in adenoma) has been isolated. Its mRNA is expressed exclusively in normal colon tissue, probably only in the mucosal epithelia. Expression of the DRA gene is significantly decreased in adenomas (polyps) and adenocarcinomas of the colon. The DRA gene appears to be a single-copy gene present on chromosome 7, a chromosome associated with colorectal tumorigenesis. The predicted DRA polypeptide is an 84,500-Da protein that contains charged clusters of amino acids, primarily at the NH2 and COOH termini. Together with potential nuclear targeting motifs, an acidic transcriptional activation domain, and a homeobox domain, these elements suggest a transcription factor or a protein that may interact with transcription factors. Such a function may be consistent with a role in tissue-specific gene expression and/or as a candidate tumor-suppressor gene.

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