Loss of heterozygosity at the c-raf locus in small cell lung carcinoma

G. Sithanandam, M. Dean, U. Brennscheidt, T. Beck, A. Gazdar, J. D. Minna, H. Brauch, B. Zbar, U. R. Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The c-raf-1 oncogene is located at chromosome 3p25, near a region known to be specifically deleted in patients with renal cell carcinoma and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). From cytogenetic analyses of SCLC cell lines, we have estimated that one c-raf-1 allele was deleted in approximately 80% of the cases. However, c-raf-1 was generally thought to be distal to the most common deletion in SCLC, 3p14-23. Using restriction site polymorphisms (RFLPs) located within the c-raf-1 locus, we have examined DNA from 84 human lung carcinomas. In an analysis of 11 paired (normal versus tumor) SCLC DNA samples, all five informative cases showed loss of heterozygosity at this locus in the corresponding tumor sample. Analysis of 73 unpaired lung carcinoma DNAs showed that out of 31 non-SCLC samples, 19% were heterozygous for the BglI polymorphism and 25% showed heterozygosity with TaqI. However, all of the 42 SCLC samples were homozygous for both of these RFLPs. This striking loss of heterozygosity at the c-raf-1 locus in SCLC indicates that one allele of c-raf-1 is deleted in SCLC. The kinase activity of the c-raf protein appears to be constitutively activated in these cells. Whether this apparent activation results from genetic or epigenetic events is under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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