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Lung Cancer. 1999 Aug;25(2):87-93.

Alteration of the PTEN/MMAC1 gene locus in primary lung cancer with distant metastasis.

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Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


The PTEN/MMAC1 gene located at 10q23, has been proposed to be a tumor suppressor gene. To determine the involvement of alteration of the PTEN/MMAC1 gene in carcinogenesis and the progression of primary lung cancers, we analyzed tumor samples of primary and distant metastatic sites and normal lung tissue samples of 30 patients with advanced lung cancer with distant metastasis. The tissues were analyzed for allelic deletion and mutational inactivation of PTEN/MMAC1 by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis, polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP), and direct sequence analysis. LOH of the PTEN/MMAC1 locus was common in each histologic type of primary lung cancer. In this study, the overall allelic deletion rate was 33.3% (7/21). Allelic loss at the primary site and that at the metastatic site of each patient, were identical; in most cases, it seemed that the allelic loss had occurred before metastasis. Sequence analysis of the PTEN/MMAC1 gene revealed a G to C substitution located 8 bp upstream of the coding region of exon 1 and which seems to be a polymorphism, in 4 of the 30 cases. Somatic mutations of the PTEN/MMAC1 gene were not identified in any of the tumors at the primary and metastatic sites. These data indicate that point mutations in the PTEN/MMAC1 gene are probably not an important factor in tumorigenesis and the progression of a major subset of lung cancers. Due to frequent allelic loss at the PTEN/MMAC1 locus occurring at a stage earlier than the metastatic process, alternative mechanisms in which the remaining allele is inactivated such as methylation or homozygous deletion of a small region of the gene that can not be detected by the usual analysis, or alteration of other important tumor suppressor genes lying close to the PTEN/MMAC1 gene on 10q23, may be involved in the tumorigenesis of lung cancers of all histologic subtypes.

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