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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aberrant caspase-activated DNase (CAD) transcripts in human hepatoma cells.

The gene of caspase-activated DNase (CAD), the key enzyme for nucleosome cleavage during apoptosis, is mapped at chromosome 1p36, a region usually associated with hemizygous deletions in human cancers, particularly in hepatoma (HCC). It is tempting to speculate that CAD plays a tumour-suppressive role in hepatocarcinogenesis. To address this, we examined the CAD transcripts in six human HCC cell lines, one liver tissue from a non-HCC subject, and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) from three healthy individuals. Alternatively spliced CAD transcripts with fusion of exon 1 to exon 7 were isolated in most of the examined samples including HCC cells and normal controls. However, relatively abundant alternatively spliced CAD transcripts with fusion of exon 2 to exon 6 or 7, in which the corresponding domain directing CAD interaction with ICAD was preserved, were found only in poorly differentiated Mahlavu and SK-Hep1 cells. Interestingly, an abnormal CAD transcript with its exon 3 replaced by a truncated transposable Alu repeat was isolated in Hep3B cells, indicative of the implication of an Alu-mediated genomic mutation. Moreover, mis-sense mutations in the CAD genes were identified in all six HCC cell lines. Upon UV-induced apoptosis, DNA fragmentation efficiency was found to be intact, partially reduced and remarkably reduced in Huh7 and J328, Hep3B and HepG2, and Mahlavu cells, respectively. That mutations and aberrantly spliced transcripts for the CAD gene are frequently present in human HCC cells, especially in poorly differentiated HCC cells, suggests a significant role of CAD in human hepatocarcinogenesis.[1]


  1. Aberrant caspase-activated DNase (CAD) transcripts in human hepatoma cells. Hsieh, S.Y., Liaw, S.F., Lee, S.N., Hsieh, P.S., Lin, K.H., Chu, C.M., Liaw, Y.F. Br. J. Cancer (2003) [Pubmed]
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