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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2002 Oct;35(2):176-81.

Evidence of a role for the INK4 family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in ovarian granulosa cell tumors.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


Granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) of the ovary are relatively rare and account for <5% of all ovarian cancers. The molecular pathogenesis of these tumors is not well understood. We tested the hypothesis that cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, specifically the inhibitors of the cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (INK4) family, are targets for altered gene expression in GCTs. The status of RB1, INK4A, INK4B, INK4C, INK4D, and ARF in 13 adult and 2 juvenile ovarian GCTs was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction of total RNA and exon-specific sequencing of genomic DNA. Tumors showing loss of INK4A expression were assayed further by exon-deletion analysis and methylation-specific PCR. None of the juvenile tumors demonstrated altered expression, but 7/12 (58%) adult GCTs lacked expression of INK4A, INK4B, or both. In one of these cases, we noted a homozygous deletion of the INK4A locus, and in the remaining tumors we found hypermethylation of the promoter region, a mechanism that can lead to gene inactivation. These data support a role for the INK4 family of CDK inhibitors in the biology of GCTs.

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