Protein expression of the RB-related gene family and SV40 large T antigen in mesothelioma and lung cancer

S Modi, A Kubo, H Oie, A B Coxon, A Rehmatulla, F J Kaye
Oncogene 2000 September 21, 19 (40): 4632-9
Mutational inactivation of the RB-related gene RBL2/p130 has been reported as a common and important prognostic factor in human lung cancer. To examine the role of the RB-related gene family in lung cancer we analysed the protein expression of the RB gene in cell lines obtained from 83 patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 114 patients with non-SCLC that included 21 novel lung tumor samples. While we detected five new SCLC with mutant RB expression (RB inactivation in 75/83; 90.4%), we did not detect any RB mutations in the new non-SCLC cell lines (RB inactivation in 13/114 non-SCLC and mesothelioma; 11.4%). In addition, we detected expression of a full-length RBL1/p107 and RBL2/p130 species in every sample tested (RBL1 or RBL2 inactivation in 0/69) and confirmed that both RB-related gene products retain functional binding activity to the E1A viral oncoprotein. Since expression of SV40 Large T antigen (Tag) has been reported in a subset of human lung tumors where it may inactivate RBL1 and RBL2, we also examined mesothelioma and non-mesothelioma lung tumors for Tag expression. Although we detected a faint 85 kDa protein species using specific anti-Tag antibodies, this signal migrated slightly faster than Tag extracted from Cos7 cells and did not exhibit binding activity to the RB or RBL1 proteins. Finally, we subjected 11 lung cancer cell lines to nucleotide sequencing and did not detect mutations within the C-terminal RBL2 exons 19-22 as recently reported. While the RB/p16 tumor suppressor pathway is targeted for mutations in 100% of lung cancers, mutational inactivation of the related RBL1 and RBL2 genes is a rare event.

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