Alterations in the FHIT gene region have been previously associated with smoking status and the occurrence of lung tumors. In the current study, we examined the nature of the mutations that occur at FHIT and the types of carcinogen exposures that are associated with FHIT alterations. We screened 40 primary lung tumors for the presence of point mutations within the coding exons of FHIT using PCR-single-strand conformational polymorphism. Tumors were also analyzed for allelic loss using microsatellite markers located in or near FHIT. No tumors contained point mutations within the coding region of the FHIT gene. However, several samples failed to generate a PCR product, suggesting that regions of the gene are homozygously deleted. Samples were reanalyzed for exon loss using PCR; 13 of 30 tumors failed to generate a PCR product, and 20 of 30 tumors were missing at least one FHIT exon or had loss (loss of heterozygosity or deletion) of one microsatellite marker, suggesting that regions of the gene are homozygously deleted. These data indicate that the FHIT gene has a novel pattern of mutational inactivation not seen previously with other tumor suppressor genes, most likely influenced by the proximity of the FRA3B region. There were no associations of age, sex, p53, or k-ras mutation and FHIT exon deletion. However, there was an association of smoking duration and asbestos exposure with FHIT exon loss, indicating that carcinogenic exposures may be causal in the generation of alterations in the FHIT region.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - May 1 1998|