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Hum Mol Genet. 1995 Oct;4(10):1883-7.

Intragenic mutations of CDKN2B and CDKN2A in primary human esophageal cancers.

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  • 1Department of Medicine/GI Division, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


The CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes, encoding p16 and p15 respectively, are located on chromosome 9p21, a locus at which frequent homozygous and heterozygous deletions occur in many primary human tumors, including esophageal carcinoma. CDKN2A and CDKN2B inhibit cyclin dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) and CDK6 and control cellular proliferation by preventing entry into the S phase of the cell cycle. Their inactivation may contribute to uncontrolled growth in human cancer. We previously described CDKN2A exon 2 mutations in a pilot study of 43 esophageal cancers. In order to determine whether CDKN2A and CDKN2B are frequent targets of 9p21 deletion in esophageal carcinogenesis, we have now analyzed 60 primary esophageal cancers for mutations in both exons 1 and 2 of CDKN2A and CDKN2B by direct sequencing of PCR amplified genomic DNAs. In conjunction with our previously published data, we have identified a total of eight nucleic acid substitutions among 60 esophageal carcinomas; here, we describe one new CDKN2B nonsense mutation and one new silent CDKN2B mutation that occurred somatically. Taken together, these results suggest that intragenic mutations in CDKN2A and CDKN2B occur in esophageal cancer, but that they are infrequent events. In view of the known high frequency of loss of heterozygosity at the chromosome 9p21 locus in esophageal cancers, the current data suggest that intragenic mutation is not the predominant mode of inactivation of CDKN2A and CDKN2B or that other genes are targets of deletion at this locus in these cancers.

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