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Open Access Research article

Human sterile alpha motif domain 9, a novel gene identified as down-regulated in aggressive fibromatosis, is absent in the mouse

Catherine F Li1, Jeffrey R MacDonald2, Robert Y Wei1, Jocelyn Ray1, Kimberly Lau1, Christopher Kandel1, Rachel Koffman1, Sherilyn Bell2, Stephen W Scherer2 and Benjamin A Alman13*

Author Affiliations

1 Program in Developmental Biology, the Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada

2 Program in Molecular Genetics and Genomic Biology, the Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada

3 The Department of Surgery, the Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:92  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-92

Published: 3 April 2007

Abstract

Background

Neoplasia can be driven by mutations resulting in dysregulation of transcription. In the mesenchymal neoplasm, aggressive fibromatosis, subtractive hybridization identified sterile alpha motif domain 9 (SAMD9) as a substantially down regulated gene in neoplasia. SAMD9 was recently found to be mutated in normophosphatemic familial tumoral calcinosis. In this study, we studied the gene structure and function of SAMD9, and its paralogous gene, SAMD9L, and examined these in a variety of species.

Results

SAMD9 is located on human chromosome 7q21.2 with a paralogous gene sterile alpha motif domain 9 like (SAMD9L) in the head-to-tail orientation. Although both genes are present in a variety of species, the orthologue for SAMD9 is lost in the mouse lineage due to a unique genomic rearrangement. Both SAMD9 and SAMD9L are ubiquitously expressed in human tissues. SAMD9 is expressed at a lower level in a variety of neoplasms associated with β-catenin stabilization, such as aggressive fibromatosis, breast, and colon cancers. SAMD9 and SAMD9L contain an amino-terminal SAM domain, but the remainder of the predicted protein structure does not exhibit substantial homology to other known protein motifs. The putative protein product of SAMD9 localizes to the cytoplasm. In vitro data shows that SAMD9 negatively regulates cell proliferation. Over expression of SAMD9 in the colon cancer cell line, SW480, reduces the volume of tumors formed when transplanted into immune-deficient mice.

Conclusion

SAMD9 and SAMD9L are a novel family of genes, which play a role regulating cell proliferation and suppressing the neoplastic phenotype. This is the first report as far as we know about a human gene that exists in rat, but is lost in mouse, due to a mouse specific rearrangement, resulting in the loss of the SAMD9 gene.