Analysis of the FHIT gene and FRA3B region in sporadic breast cancer, preneoplastic lesions, and familial breast cancer probands

Mohsen Ahmadian, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Kwun M. Fong, Carmen Behrens, Dulmini R. Kodagoda, M. Hossein Saboorian, Jerry Shay, Gail E. Tomlinson, Joanne Blum, John D. Minna, Adi F. Gazdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The FHIT gene, which spans the FRA3B fragile site at chromosome 3p14.2, is a candidate tumor suppressor gene in breast and other cancers. We investigated FHIT and FRA3B for loss of heterozygosity (LOH); homozygous deletions; abnormal transcripts; and acquired/germ-line point mutations in breast cancer cell lines (n = 32), breast epithelial and stromal cell cultures (n = 18), microdissected invasive (n = 16) and ductal in situ carcinomas (n = 6), and their accompanying normal and abnormal epithelial foci (n = 14). LOH at 3p14.2, especially at FHIT intragenic marker D3S1300, was found in 6 of 16 microdissected invasive tumors and 3 of 6 ductal in situ carcinomas. In accompanying preneoplastic foci, LOH occurred in two of eight intraductal hyperplasias but not in histologically normal ductal epithelium (n = 6). Three of 32 (9%) breast cancer cell lines demonstrated homozygous deletions of FHIT exon 4 (two cases) and exon 5 (one case), which correlated with exon 4-deleted transcripts and loss of the cDNA transcript containing the coding exons 5-9, respectively. Normal mammary cultures and 31 of 32 tumor cell lines (97%) expressed wild-type coding transcripts as well as a minor exon 8-deleted message. Single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of the coding exons in the 32 tumor and 18 normal breast cell lines and their sequencing revealed four silent polymorphisms and a germ-line histidine triad point mutation (651 G→T) in a tumor arising in a 70-year- old woman. This mutation was also present in one of her two thus far unaffected daughters. Analysis of additional DNAs from 280 probands of high- risk breast cancer families for other FHIT exon 8 mutations detected an intronic point mutation 13 bases upstream of exon 8. Thus, we have demonstrated relatively early abnormalities of the FHIT/FRA3B region in breast cancer and discovered two rare FHIT germ-line mutations. The expression of a transcript containing the coding exons in nearly all cell lines, including those with germ-line mutations, suggests the possibility that another gene in the FRA3B region may be involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3664-3668
Number of pages5
JournalCancer research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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