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Oncogene. 2005 Sep 1;24(38):5821-6.

Tumor-specific exon 1 mutations could be the 'hit event' predisposing Rb2/p130 gene to epigenetic silencing in lung cancer.

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Institute of Clinical Physiology, CNR, Siena Unity, Italy.


Genetic alterations in Rb2/p130 gene have been reported in several tumors, but till now there are insufficient and conflicting data linking the loss of pRb2/p130 expression with the mutational status of this gene in lung cancer. We recently reported that loss or lowering of pRb2/p130 expression is mainly due to aberrant Rb2/p130 promoter methylation, in retinoblastoma tumors, and indicated that epigenetic silencing of Rb2/p130 can impair its function to negatively regulate cell cycle progression as well as apoptotic response. In order to clarify Rb2/p130 gene inactivation in lung cancer, we investigated whether epigenetic events could impair the expression of this gene in NSLC. Here, we show that specific Rb2-exon 1 homozygous mutations, occurring in an Rb2/p130, region, rich in CpG dinucleotides, could be the 'hit event' that predispose this gene to epigenetic changes, leading to Rb2/p130 gene silencing in lung cancer. Moreover, these homozygous mutations, found in different tumor histotypes, could represent tumor-specific markers.

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