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Mol Carcinog. 2013 Apr;52(4):265-74. doi: 10.1002/mc.21853. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Decreased expression of WWOX in the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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Laboratory of Pathology, Hebei Cancer Institute, the Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China.


The WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) gene, located on chromosome 16q23.3-24.1 in the region recognized as the common fragile site FRA16D is considered to be a tumor suppressor gene involved in various carcinomas. The present study was to investigate the alterations of WWOX expression and its correlation with polymorphism, the level of WWOX loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and methylation status in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR methods were used, respectively, to examine the protein and mRNA expression of WWOX in ESCC tissues. PCR-RFLP, PCR-SSLP, and MSP approach were used, respectively, to detect polymorphisms of rs3764340, rs2548861, and rs1079635 site, the level of LOH, and WWOX methylation status. Family history of upper gastrointestinal cancer (UGIC) significantly increased the risk of developing ESCC. Protein and mRNA expression of WWOX was reduced in ESCC tumor tissues and was associated with LOH and hypermethylation of the gene. The G allele of rs3764340 significantly elevated the risk of developing ESCC and was associated with TNM stage. LOH at the WWOX loci was observed in 41.4% tumors. The hypermethylation of promoter and exon1 of WWOX was found to be occurred in dysplastic tissues and the methylation frequency of WWOX in ESCC tumor tissues was significantly higher than that in corresponding normal tissues and was associated with UGIC family history. In all, these results indicate that the WWOX gene may play an important role in the development of ESCC especially in individuals with UGIC family history.

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