CD44 expression in colorectal adenomas is an early event occurring prior to K-ras and p53 gene mutation

Hoguen Kim, Xiao Ling Yang, Cecilia Rosada, Stanley R. Hamilton, J. Thomas August

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Neoplastic progression of colorectal epithelial cells from benign adenomas to malignant carcinomas appears to result from a series of genetic alterations involving both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This progression was recently found to be associated with expression of splice variant isoforms of CD44, a cell surface hyaluronate receptor implicated in carcinogenesis. In this study we examined the relationship of CD44 expression to somatic genetic events in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence: point mutation of K-ras in codons 12 and 13 and overexpression of p53 protein as a marker of gene mutation. Among 22 small adenomas, CD44 was present in 9 (41%), of which only 1 contained a K-ras mutation. CD44 was absent in the other 2 small adenomas positive for K-ras mutation or p53 overexpression. In contrast to the early expression of CD44 in small adenomas, mutations of K-ras and p53 were detected preferentially in large adenomas and late-stage adenomas containing carcinoma. The frequent expression of CD44 prior to K-ras and p53 gene alterations in colorectal neoplasia suggests that activation of CD44 gene expression is related to earlier events in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence, possibly cell activation and proliferation following APC gene mutation or alteration of DNA methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-507
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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