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Eur J Cancer. 1999 Mar;35(3):467-72.

FHIT gene abnormalities in both benign and malignant thyroid tumours.

Author information

1
Department of Biological and Medical Research (MBC-03), King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

FHIT, a candidate tumour suppressor gene, has recently been identified at chromosomal region 3p14.2, and deletions of the gene have been reported in many types of human cancers. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at this region has also been found frequently in follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC). To investigate the potential role of FHIT in thyroid tumorigenesis, we examined 57 thyroid tumour specimens (eight benign adenomas, 40 papillary, four follicular and five anaplastic carcinomas), and two thyroid carcinoma cell lines (NPA, SW579) for genetic alterations by using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), PCR product sequencing, single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and Southern blot analysis. Two cervical carcinoma cell lines (C-33A, HeLa) were included as positive controls. We detected truncated FHIT transcripts in three of eight (38%) benign adenomas, nine of 40 (23%) papillary, and two of five (40%) anaplastic carcinomas, and in three cell lines (SW579, C-33A, HeLa). Most of the truncated transcripts lacked exons 4 or 5 to 7 or 8 of the gene and were presumably non-functional as the translation start site is located in exon 5. SSCP analysis of the coding exons failed to detect any point mutations among the samples without abnormal FHIT transcripts. Southern blot analysis demonstrated either loss or reduced intensity of major Bam HI restriction fragments in the three cell lines found to have abnormal FHIT transcripts, indicating, respectively, either intragenic homozygous or heterozygous deletions of the FHIT gene. Intragenic homozygous deletions were also found in two papillary thyroid carcinoma specimens: one was missing a 13 kb Bam HI fragment which contains exon 4, the other had deletions of 15.5, 13 and 4.2 kb fragments which contain exons 2 and 9, 4, and 5, respectively. The absence of a defective FHIT gene in FTC indicates that an additional tumour suppressor gene may reside in this region and be involved in the development of FTC. Given that defective FHIT genes were found in both benign and malignant thyroid tumours, the inactivation of this putative tumour suppressor gene is likely to be an early event in the pathogenesis of some forms of thyroid neoplasms.

PMID:
10448301
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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