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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jul 21;95(15):8847-51.

Somatic mutations of the beta-catenin gene are frequent in mouse and human hepatocellular carcinomas.

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1
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U129, Institut Cochin de Génétique Moléculaire, Université Paris V René Descartes, 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques, 75014 Paris, France.

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the major primary malignant tumor in the human liver, but the molecular changes leading to liver cell transformation remain largely unknown. The Wnt-beta-catenin pathway is activated in colon cancers and some melanoma cell lines, but has not yet been investigated in HCC. We have examined the status of the beta-catenin gene in different transgenic mouse lines of HCC obtained with the oncogenes c-myc or H-ras. Fifty percent of the hepatic tumors in these transgenic mice had activating somatic mutations within the beta-catenin gene similar to those found in colon cancers and melanomas. These alterations in the beta-catenin gene (point mutations or deletions) lead to a disregulation of the signaling function of beta-catenin and thus to carcinogenesis. We then analyzed human HCCs and found similar mutations in eight of 31 (26%) human liver tumors tested and in HepG2 and HuH6 hepatoma cells. The mutations led to the accumulation of beta-catenin in the nucleus. Thus alterations in the beta-catenin gene frequently are selected for during liver tumorigenesis and suggest that disregulation of the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway is a major event in the development of HCC in humans and mice.

PMID:
9671767
PMCID:
PMC21165
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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