[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate intra-tumoural coexistence and heterogeneity of aberrant promoter hypermethylation of different tumour suppressor genes in melanoma, we analyzed the intra-tumoural distribution of promoter methylation of RASSF1A, p16, DAPK, MGMT, and Rb in 339 assays of 34 tumours (15 melanoma primaries, 19 metastases) by methylation-specific PCR, correlation to histopathology and RASSF1A expression. We detected promoter hypermethylation of at least one gene in 74% of tumours (30%, 52%, 33%, 20%, and 40% for RASSF1A, p16, DAPK, MGMT and Rb, respectively). 70% of the cases exhibited an inhomogeneous methylation pattern (17%, 45%, 33%, 20%, and 40% for RASSF1A, p16, DAPK, MGMT and Rb, respectively). Samples from the core of the tumours represented the methylation state of the whole tumours more accurately than the periphery. Local intra-tumoural correlation was found between the promoter hypermethylation state of p16 and Rb or p16 and DAPK, or epitheloid tumour cell type and RASSF1A or p16 methylation. Mitosis rate and sex was correlated with methylation of RASSF1A. Histological results confirmed that promoter hypermethylation of RASSF1A led to aberrant expression patterns. We conclude that intra-tumoural inhomogeneity of promoter hypermethylation is frequent in melanoma and this supports the hypothesis of clonal instability during progression of melanomas. In prognosis studies, missing the intra-tumoural sample representativeness may result in a reduction of the sensitivities or specificities.
Histology and histopathology 10/2007; 22(9):1005-15. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The H(+)/peptide cotransporter PEPT2 is expressed in a variety of organs including kidney, lung, brain, mammary gland, and eye. PEPT2 substrates are di- and tripeptides as well as peptidomimetics, such as beta-lactam antibiotics. Due to the presence of PEPT2 at the bronchial epithelium, the aerosolic administration of peptide-like drugs might play a major role in future treatment of various pulmonary and systemic diseases. Moreover, PEPT2 has a significant influence on the in vivo disposition and half-life time of peptide-like drugs within the body, particularly in kidney and brain. PEPT2 is known to have similar but not identical structural requirements for substrate recognition and transport compared to PEPT1, its intestinal counterpart. In this review we compiled available affinity constants of 352 compounds, measured at different mammalian tissues and expression systems and compare the data whenever possible with those of PEPT1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of heterozygosity of the small arm of chromosome 3 is one of the most common alterations in human cancer. Most notably, a segment in 3p21.3 is frequently lost in lung cancer and several other carcinomas. We and others have identified a novel Ras effector at this segment, which was termed Ras Association Domain family 1 (RASSF1A) gene. RASSF1 consists of two main variants (RASSF1A and RASSF1C), which are transcribed from distinct CpG island promoters. Aberrant methylation of the RASSF1A promoter region is one of the most frequent epigenetic inactivation events detected in human cancer and leads to silencing of RASSF1A. Hypermethylation of RASSF1A was commonly observed in primary tumors including lung, breast, pancreas, kidney, liver, cervix, nasopharyngeal, prostate, thyroid and other cancers. Moreover, RASSF1A methylation was frequently detected in body fluids including blood, urine, nipple aspirates, sputum and bronchial alveolar lavages. Inactivation of RASSF1A was associated with an advanced tumor stage (e.g. bladder, brain, prostate, gastric tumors) and poor prognosis (e.g. lung, sarcoma and breast cancer). Detection of aberrant RASSF1A methylation may serve as a diagnostic and prognostic marker. The functional analyses of RASSF1A reveal an involvement in apoptotic signaling, microtubule stabilization and mitotic progression. The tumor suppressor RASSF1A may act as a negative Ras effector inhibiting cell growth and inducing cell death. Thus, RASSF1A may represent an epigenetically inactivated bona fide tumor suppressor in human carcinogenesis.
Histology and histopathology 05/2005; 20(2):645-63. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ras GTPases are a superfamily of molecular switches that regulate cellular proliferation and apoptosis in response to extra-cellular signals. The regulation of these pathways depends on the interaction of the GTPases with specific effectors. Recently, we have cloned and characterized a novel gene encoding a putative Ras effector: the Ras-association domain family 1 (RASSF1) gene. The RASSF1 gene is located in the chromosomal segment of 3p21.3. The high allelic loss in a variety of cancers suggested a crucial role of this region in tumorigenesis. At least two forms of RASSF1 are present in normal human cells. The RASSF1A isoform is highly epigenetically inactivated in lung, breast, ovarian, kidney, prostate, thyroid and several other carcinomas. Re-expression of RASSF1A reduced the growth of human cancer cells supporting a role for RASSF1 as a tumor suppressor gene. RASSF1A inactivation and K-ras activation are mutually exclusive events in the development of certain carcinomas. This observation could further pinpoint the function of RASSF1A as a negative effector of Ras in a pro-apoptotic signaling pathway. In malignant mesothelioma and gastric cancer RASSF1A methylation is associated with virus infection of SV40 and EBV, respectively, and suggests a causal relationship between viral infection and progressive RASSF1A methylation in carcinogenesis. Furthermore, a significant correlation between RASSF1A methylation and impaired lung cancer patient survival was reported, and RASSF1A silencing was correlated with several parameters of poor prognosis and advanced tumor stage (e.g. poor differentiation, aggressiveness, and invasion). Thus, RASSF1A methylation could serve as a useful marker for the prognosis of cancer patients and could become important in early detection of cancer.
Histology and histopathology 05/2003; 18(2):665-77. · 2.28 Impact Factor