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J Gastroenterol. 2000;35(10):768-74.

Microsatellite instability in gallbladder carcinoma: two independent genetic pathways of gallbladder carcinogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Pathology, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Morioka, Japan.


Although the genetic basis for gallbladder carcinogenesis has not been clarified, considerable evidence has shown that genetic alterations play an important role in the development and progression of human cancers. In this study, we analyzed 30 gallbladder carcinomas to investigate the role of genetic alterations in their tumorigenesis, and to study correlations with their clinicopathological features. Tissue samples were obtained from 30 patients with gallbladder carcinoma (11 men and 19 women; mean age, 62 years; age range, 38-80 years). Genomic DNAs were extracted from fresh tumor tissue. We examined loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the p53, APC, DCC, RB, and NM23-H1 gene regions by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-LOH assay using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer employing four microsatellite markers (p53, APC, DCC, NM23-H1). Five additional microsatellite markers were used for the determination of microsatellite instability (MSI). LOH was found at p53 in 9 of 15 informative cases (60%), at DCC in 10 of 22 (45%), at APC in 5 of 15 (33%), at RB in 1 of 8 (13%), and at NM23-H1 in 1 of 15 (7%). MSI was observed in 5 of 30 cases (17%) in at least one chromosomal loci of these nine microsatellite markers. None of the patients with MSI-positive tumors showed lymph node metastasis, and there was an inverse correlation between MSI and the presence of LOH in gallbladder carcinoma. These results suggest that there are two independent genetic pathways in gallbladder carcinogenesis; that is, an MSI pathway and an LOH pathway.

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