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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
A recent study revealed that the p110alpha (PIK3CA), catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase ( PI3K), is somatically mutated in many types of cancer. For example, PIK3CA is mutated in an estimated 35.6% of hepatocellular carcinoma ( HCC) cases. To measure the frequency of PIK3CA hotspot mutations in Japanese HCC patients, exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene were sequenced in 47 clinical HCC samples. Contrary to expectations, no hotspot mutations were found any of the HCC samples. In addition, we found abnormally migrating waves near the end of exon 9 in the PCR chromatograms from 13 of the 47 samples. PCR amplification and subsequent cloning and sequencing revealed that these chromatograms contained two distinct sequences, the wild-type p110alpha sequence and a different sequence found on human chromosome 22q11.2, the Cat Eye Syndrome region, which contains a putative pseudogene of PIK3CA. These abnormally migrating waves were also found in noncancerous liver tissue, indicating that this was not a result of HCC-associated mutations. Therefore, it is likely that the percentage of hotspot mutations in the PIK3CA gene of Japanese HCC patients is lower than was previously reported.