Inactivation of Smad4 in gastric carcinomas

Steven M. Powell, Jeffrey C. Harper, Stanley R. Hamilton, C. Rahj Robinson, Oscar W. Cummings

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65 Scopus citations


Allelic loss of chromosome 18q has been noted in intestinal type gastric adenocarcinomas. Smad4 is a gene located at 18q that was recently cloned in humans and found to be significantly altered in pancreatic cancers. We sought to determine whether Smad4 genetic alterations played a significant role in gastric tumorigenesis by studying 35 gastric adenocarcinomas of all histopathological types and pathological stages. Microdissected specimens were used for mutational analysis of Smad4 at the nucleotide level, including the entire coding region and intron/exon boundaries. Allelic imbalance was also analyzed at the Smad4 locus using two nearby micro-satellite markers. One case of apparent biallelic inactivation of Smad4 was found in our study of 35 gastric carcinomas. A nonsense point mutation at codon 334 was demonstrated, which, similar to other Smad4 mutations, is predicted to truncate the conserved COOH-terminal domain of this protein. This Smad4 C to T transition mutation was proven to be somatically acquired. Allelic loss was also noted on chromosome 18q at a marker near Smad4 in this mutated gastric cancer, apparently producing complete inactivation of Smad4 in this tumor. Significant 18q allelic loss (56% of 34 informative cases) was noted in our gastric carcinomas using microsatellite markers near the Smad4 locus, regardless of histological subtype or pathological stage. Additionally, three cases of microsatellite instability were observed. Thus, Smad4 inactivation was noted in our gastric carcinomas; however, this event was rare. The frequent loss of chromosomal arm 18q observed in gastric cancers suggests the presence of other tumor suppressor genes in this region that are involved in gastric tumorigenesis. Further studies are needed to identify these other targets of inactivation during gastric cancer development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4221-4224
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Powell, S. M., Harper, J. C., Hamilton, S. R., Robinson, C. R., & Cummings, O. W. (1997). Inactivation of Smad4 in gastric carcinomas. Cancer Research, 57(19), 4221-4224.