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Int Rev Cytol. 2001;204:49-95.

Genetic and epigenetic changes in stomach cancer.

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First Department of Pathology, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Japan.


Genetic and epigenetic alterations of multiple cancer-related genes and molecules are implicated in the development and progression of human gastric carcinomas. Reactivation of telomerase, inactivation of p53 tumor suppressor gene, overexpression of cyclin E, and reduced expression of p27 KIP1 by disorganized degradation in proteasome are common events of both well-differentiated and poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinomas. Inactivation of hMLH1 mismatch repair gene by CpG hypermethylation resulting in microsatellite instability, amplification of c-erbB2 oncogene, inactivation of APC tumor suppressor gene, and K-ras mutations are preferentially associated with well-differentiated gastric cancer. Conversely, reduction or loss of E-cadherin and catenins by both mutation and CpG hypermethylation and K-sam and c-met oncogene amplification are necessary for the development and progression of poorly differentiated or scirrhous gastric carcinomas. Interaction between cancer cells expressing c-met and hepatocyte growth factor from stromal cells is implicated in morphogenesis of gastric cancer.

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