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Int J Cancer. 2001 Sep;93(6):798-804.

Reduced expression of the Aalpha subunit of protein phosphatase 2A in human gliomas in the absence of mutations in the Aalpha and Abeta subunit genes.

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  • 1International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France.


Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) consists of 3 subunits: the catalytic subunit, C, and the regulatory subunits, A and B. The A and C subunits both exist as 2 isoforms (alpha and beta) and the B subunit as multiple forms subdivided into 3 families, B, B' and B". It has been reported that the genes encoding the Aalpha and Abeta subunits are mutated in various human cancers, suggesting that they may function as tumor suppressors. We investigated whether Aalpha and Abeta mutations occur in human gliomas. Using single strand conformational polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing, 58 brain tumors were investigated, including 23 glioblastomas, 19 oligodendrogliomas and 16 anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. Only silent mutations were detected in the Aalpha gene and no mutations in the Abeta gene. However, in 43% of the tumors, the level of Aalpha was reduced at least 10-fold. By comparison, the levels of the Balpha and Calpha subunits were mostly normal. Our data indicate that these tumors contain very low levels of core and holoenzyme and high amounts of unregulated catalytic C subunit.

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