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Oncogene. 2004 Aug 5;23(35):5941-9.

Inactivation of RASSF1C during in vivo tumor growth identifies it as a tumor suppressor gene.

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Microbiology and Tumorbiology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm 171 77, Sweden.


RASSF1A, a major member of the RASSF1 gene family, is silenced by promoter methylation at a high frequency in a large number of human solid tumors. Controlled expression of RASSF1A reverts the tumorigenic phenotype of several human cancer cell lines. Here we investigated another main isoform, RASSF1C, and compared it with RASSF1A in the gene inactivation test (GIT), based on a tetracycline regulation system. In the small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) line U2020, only RASSF1A has shown growth inhibitory activity in vitro, while in the prostate cell line LNCaP and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) line KRC/Y both RASSF1A and RASSF1C showed similar (approximately 90%) suppressing activity in vitro. Both RASSF1C and RASSF1A suppressed the tumorigenicity of the KRC/Y RCC cell line in SCID mice. Mutations, deletions and loss of expression of RASSF1A and RASSF1C transgenes were identified in all 15 grown SCID tumors. In contrast, the mutant RASSF1A containing Cys65Arg and Val211Ala had reduced growth suppression activity both in vitro and in vivo and did not show any further changes in four grown SCID tumors. In addition, RASSF1C was shown to induce cell cycle arrest in KRC/Y cells. These results strongly imply that like RASSF1A the RASSF1C gene could serve a tumor suppressor function.

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