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

A novel amplicon at 8p22-23 results in overexpression of cathepsin B in esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Cathepsin B (CTSB) is overexpressed in tumors of the lung, prostate, colon, breast, and stomach. However, evidence of primary genomic alterations in the CTSB gene during tumor initiation or progression has been lacking. We have found a novel amplicon at 8p22-23 that results in CTSB overexpression in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Amplified genomic NotI-HinfI fragments were identified by two-dimensional DNA electrophoresis. Two amplified fragments (D4 and D5) were cloned and yielded unique sequences. Using bacterial artificial chromosome clones containing either D4 or D5, fluorescent in situ hybridization defined a single region of amplification involving chromosome bands 8p22-23. We investigated the candidate cancer-related gene CTSB, and potential coamplified genes from this region including farnesyl-diphosphate farnesyltransferase (FDFT1), arylamine N-acetyltransferase ( NAT-1), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and an uncharacterized expressed sequence tag (D8S503). Southern blot analysis of 66 esophageal adenocarcinomas demonstrated only CTSB and FDFT1 were consistently amplified in eight (12.1%) of the tumors. Neither NAT-1 nor LPL were amplified. Northern blot analysis showed overexpression of CTSB and FDFT1 mRNA in all six of the amplified esophageal adenocarcinomas analyzed. CTSB mRNA overexpression also was present in two of six nonamplified tumors analyzed. However, FDFT1 mRNA overexpression without amplification was not observed. Western blot analysis confirmed CTSB protein overexpression in tumor specimens with CTSB mRNA overexpression compared with either normal controls or tumors without mRNA overexpression. Abundant extracellular expression of CTSB protein was found in 29 of 40 (72. 5%) of esophageal adenocarcinoma specimens by using immunohistochemical analysis. The finding of an amplicon at 8p22-23 resulting in CTSB gene amplification and overexpression supports an important role for CTSB in esophageal adenocarcinoma and possibly in other tumors.[1]


  1. A novel amplicon at 8p22-23 results in overexpression of cathepsin B in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Hughes, S.J., Glover, T.W., Zhu, X.X., Kuick, R., Thoraval, D., Orringer, M.B., Beer, D.G., Hanash, S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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