Decreased Fragile Histidine Triad Gene Messenger RNA Expression in Lung Cancer

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The fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene is located at 3p14.2, a region frequently lost in various tumor types. Lack ofFHITexpression has been found to occur frequently in multiple tumor types including lung cancer. We have investigatedFHITmessenger RNA (mRNA) levels and other clinicopathologic data, includingFHITand p21 expression in lung cancer.


The study included 97 lung cancer cases. The FHIT mRNA levels were quantified by quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using LightCycler®.


TheFHIT/glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNA levels were decreased in tumor tissues from lung cancer (13.844 ± 33.047) compared with adjacent nonmalignant lung tissues (195.763 ± 678.469;P< 0.0001). No significant difference inFHIT/GAPDHmRNA levels was found among age, T status, or lymph node metastasis. TheFHIT/GAPDHmRNA level was less in squamous cell carcinoma (0.144 ± 0.246), a smoking-related cancer, than in adenocarcinoma (0.72 ± 1.321;P= 0.0355).FHIT/GAPDHmRNA levels were correlated with FHIT protein (P= 0.0139) and p21 protein (P= 0.0484) expression by immunohistochemistry. The prognosis for patients with lung cancer with lowFHIT/GAPDHlevels (< 0.26; n = 57) was significantly worse than in the patients with highFHIT/GAPDHlevels (> 0.26; n = 40; log-rank test,P= 0.0404).


Using the LightCycler ® RT-PCR assay, decreasedFHITgene expression might occur early and play an important role in lung tumorigenesis and also correlate with the prognosis of lung cancer. However, further studies are needed to confirm the impact ofFHITin the biologic behavior of the tumor.


Clinical Lung Cancer, Vol. 7, No. 6, 412-416, 2006

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