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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2002 Aug;34(4):384-9.

Analysis of 11q21-24 loss of heterozygosity candidate target genes in breast cancer: indications of TSLC1 promoter hypermethylation.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, University Hospital, University of Oulu, FIN-90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland.


Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the distal half of chromosome arm 11q is frequent in a variety of human tumors, including breast cancer, and is often associated with poor prognosis. In an ongoing attempt to locate and characterize the main target genes within this chromosome region, we first looked for aberrations in known genes either suggested to be involved in tumorigenesis or shown to suppress tumor formation. We examined 31 primary breast tumors showing LOH in 11q21-24 for mutations in the MRE11A, CHK1, PPP2R1B, and TSLC1 genes. The absence of intragenic alterations related to cancer led us next to evaluate possible gene silencing resulting from promoter region CpG hypermethylation, using the bisulfite sequencing technique. In addition to the four genes mentioned above, we also analyzed the ATM gene, which had been investigated for certain germline mutations in an earlier study. Only the TSLC1 promoter region exhibited aberrant methylation patterns, and altogether 33% (10/30) of the successfully analyzed tumors showed evidence of elevated levels of TSLC1 CpG methylation. Ten percent (3/30) of the tumors showed significantly increased methylation. Thus, as has been shown in lung and some other forms of cancer, hypermethylation of the TSLC1 promoter region is also frequently a second hit along with LOH in breast cancer.

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