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Int J Cancer. 1998 May 4;76(3):407-11.

Genetic instability and mutation of the TGF-beta-receptor-II gene in ampullary carcinomas.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Ampullary carcinomas are relatively rare cancers of which very little is known in terms of carcinogenetic mechanisms at the molecular level. Genetic instability caused by mutations of mismatch-repair genes has been demonstrated to be responsible for hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancers and a sub-set of sporadic colorectal cancers. In some of those tumors showing genetic instability, the transforming-growth-factor-beta(TGF-beta)-receptor-II gene has been found to be mutated in repetitive sequences and considered to be a target of replication error. We studied the role of genetic instability and associated TGF-beta-receptor-II-gene mutations in a series of 18 sporadic cases by analyzing 5 microsatellite loci (D2S123, D3S1029, D5S409, TP53 and BAT26) and by sequencing a poly-A repeat (nucleotides 709-718) in the TGF-beta-receptor-II gene. Microsatellite instability was observed in 4 (22.2%) and gene mutations in 14 (77.8%) cases. These data indicate that the TGF-beta-receptor-II gene might be a preferential target of genetic instability whose alteration might be specifically advantageous and constitute a common step in the development of ampullary carcinomas.

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