Aberrant hypermethylation at the bcl-2 locus at 18q21 in human lung cancers

Masaaki Nagatake, Hirotaka Osada, Masashi Kondo, Kosaku Uchida, Masayuki Nishio, Kaoru Shimokata, Toshitada Takahashi, Takashi Takahashi

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulating evidence suggests that altered DNA methylation may play a rule in the oncogenesis of human neoplasms, including lung cancer. The presence of aberrant hypermethylations at 3p, 9p, 11p, and 17p, which are known to be hot spots for allele loss in lung cancers, is suggested to be a reflection of the existence of tumor suppressor genes in these chromosomal regions. In the present study, we investigated the methylation status of the Rb locus at 13q14 as well as that of the bcl-2 locus at 18q21 in 134 lung cancer specimens, representing all major histological subtypes. As a result, 18q21 was identified to be the fifth chromosomal region affected by frequent tumor-specific aberrant hypermethylation in lung cancers. The occurrence of aberrant hypermethylation at the bcl-2 locus at 18q21 was restricted to non- small cell lung cancers, and among non-small cell lung cancers, such epigenetic aberrations were observed most frequently in adenocarcinomas without any association with bcl-2 expression. Interestingly, allelic loss at the bcl-2 locus was also seen in 40% (7 of 17 informative cases) of adenocarcinomas; this frequency was also the highest among values for the various histological subtypes of lung cancers. These results suggest thai aberrant hypermethylation at the bcl-2 locus may be a reflection of a putative tumor suppressor gene residing at 18q21, and aberrant hypermethylation might play a role in its inactivation. In contrast, altered methylation status of the Rb locus appears to be quite rare in lung cancers, if present at all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1886-1891
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15-04-1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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