Simultaneous down-regulation of tumor suppressor genes RBSP3/CTDSPL, NPRL2/G21 and RASSF1A in primary non-small cell lung cancer
1 Laboratory of Structural and Functional Genomics, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
2 Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
3 Blokhin Cancer Research Center, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia
4 Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev, Ukraine
5 Cancer-Causing Genes Section, Laboratory of Immunobiology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, USA
BMC Cancer 2010, 10:75 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-75Published: 1 March 2010
The short arm of human chromosome 3 is involved in the development of many cancers including lung cancer. Three bona fide lung cancer tumor suppressor genes namely RBSP3 (AP20 region),NPRL2 and RASSF1A (LUCA region) were identified in the 3p21.3 region. We have shown previously that homozygous deletions in AP20 and LUCA sub-regions often occurred in the same tumor (P < 10-6).
We estimated the quantity of RBSP3, NPRL2, RASSF1A, GAPDH, RPN1 mRNA and RBSP3 DNA copy number in 59 primary non-small cell lung cancers, including 41 squamous cell and 18 adenocarcinomas by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction based on TaqMan technology and relative quantification.
We evaluated the relationship between mRNA level and clinicopathologic characteristics in non-small cell lung cancer. A significant expression decrease (≥2) was found for all three genes early in tumor development: in 85% of cases for RBSP3; 73% for NPRL2 and 67% for RASSF1A (P < 0.001), more strongly pronounced in squamous cell than in adenocarcinomas. Strong suppression of both, NPRL2 and RBSP3 was seen in 100% of cases already at Stage I of squamous cell carcinomas. Deregulation of RASSF1A correlated with tumor progression of squamous cell (P = 0.196) and adenocarcinomas (P < 0.05). Most likely, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms might be responsible for transcriptional inactivation of RBSP3 in non-small cell lung cancers as promoter methylation of RBSP3 according to NotI microarrays data was detected in 80% of squamous cell and in 38% of adenocarcinomas. With NotI microarrays we tested how often LUCA (NPRL2, RASSF1A) and AP20 (RBSP3) regions were deleted or methylated in the same tumor sample and found that this occured in 39% of all studied samples (P < 0.05).
Our data support the hypothesis that these TSG are involved in tumorigenesis of NSCLC. Both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms contribute to down-regulation of these three genes representing two tumor suppressor clusters in 3p21.3. Most importantly expression of RBSP3, NPRL2 and RASSF1A was simultaneously decreased in the same sample of primary NSCLC: in 39% of cases all these three genes showed reduced expression (P < 0.05).