Expression and methylation pattern of TSLC1 cascade genes in lung carcinomas

G. Heller, K. M. Fong, L. Girard, S. Seidl, A. End-Pfützenreuter, G. Lang, A. F. Gazdar, J. D. Minna, C. C. Zielinski, S. Zöchbauer-Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


TSLC1 (tumor suppressor in lung cancer-1, IGSF4) encodes a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily molecules, which is involved in cell-cell adhesion. TSLC1 is connected to the actin cytoskeleton by DAL-1 (differentially expressed in adenocarcinoma of the lung-1, EPB41L3) and it directly associates with MPP3, one of the human homologues of a Drosophila tumor suppressor gene, Discs large. Recent data suggest that aberrant promoter methylation is important for TSLC1 inactivation in lung carcinomas. However, little is known about the other two genes in this cascade, DAL-1 and MPP3. Thus, we investigated the expression and methylation patterns of these genes in lung cancer cell lines, primary lung carcinomas and nonmalignant lung tissue samples. By reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction, loss of TSLC1 expression was observed in seven of 16 (44%) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and in one of 11 (9%) small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines, while loss of DAL-1 expression was seen in 14 of 16 (87%) NSCLC cell lines and in four of 11 (36%) SCLC cell lines. By contrast, MPP3 expression was found in all tumor cell lines analysed. Similar results were obtained by microarray analysis. TSLC1 methylation was seen in 13 of 39 (33%) NSCLC cell lines, in one of 11 (9%) SCLC cell lines and in 100 of 268 (37%) primary NSCLCs. DAL-1 methylation was observed in 17 of 39 (44%) NSCLC cell lines, in three of 11 (27%) SCLC cell lines and in 147 of 268 (55%) primary NSCLCs. In tumors of NSCLC patients with stage II-III disease, DAL-1 methylation was seen at a statistically significant higher frequency compared to tumors of patients with stage I disease. A significant correlation between loss of expression and methylation of the genes in lung cancer cell lines was found. Overall, 65% of primary NSCLCs had either TSLC1 or DAL-1 methylated. Methylation of one of these genes was detected in 59% of NSCLC cell lines; however, in SCLC cell lines, methylation was much less frequently observed. The majority of nonmalignant lung tissue samples was not TSLC1 or DAL-1 methylated. Re-expression of TSLC1 and DAL-1 was seen after treatment of lung cancer cell lines with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine. Our results suggest that methylation of TSLC1 and/or DAL-1, leading to loss of their expression, is an important event in the pathogenesis of NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-968
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2006


  • DAL-1
  • Lung cancer
  • MPP3
  • Methylation
  • TSLC1
  • Tumor suppressor gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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