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Pathobiology. 2001;69(6):315-20.

Increased expression but not genetic alteration of BRG1, a component of the SWI/SNF complex, is associated with the advanced stage of human gastric carcinomas.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan.


BRG1, a component of the SWI/SNF complex, regulates gene transcription through chromatin remodeling. Certain human cancer cell lines have been shown to contain homozygous deletions or mutations, half of which are concentrated in exons 4 and 10, resulting in aberrant BRG1 expression. We examined the expression of BRG1 in 38 gastric carcinomas and corresponding nonneoplastic mucosa by using the quantitative real-time RT-PCR method. Twenty-three carcinomas (61%) showed increased BRG1 expression in tumor tissue in comparison with that in nonneoplastic mucosa. The T/N ratio (the expression level of BRG1 mRNA in tumor tissues relative to those in corresponding nonneoplastic mucosa) in advanced cases of gastric carcinoma (stages III and IV) was significantly higher than that in cases of stage I and II carcinoma (p = 0.029). Furthermore, gastric carcinomas with lymph node metastasis showed a tendency to express BRG1 at a higher level than gastric carcinomas without metastasis (p = 0.097). We also searched for genetic alterations of the BRG1 gene in 8 gastric carcinoma cell lines and 33 primary gastric carcinomas by PCR-SSCP analysis. No SSCP variants in exons 4, 10 and 16 of the BRG1 gene were found in both gastric carcinoma cell lines and primary gastric carcinomas. These results suggest that, although genetic abnormality of BRG1 might be rare, an increased expression of BRG1 might be associated with the development and progression of gastric carcinoma.

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