Serial analysis of gene expression studies led us to identify a previously unknown gene, c20orf85, that is present in the normal lung epithelium but absent or downregulated in most primary non-small cell lung cancers and lung cancer cell lines. We named this gene LLC1 for Low in Lung Cancer 1. LLC1 is located on chromosome 20q13.3 and has a 70% GC content in the promoter region. It has 4 exons and encodes a protein containing 137 amino acids. By in situ hybridization, we observed that LLC1 message is localized in normal lung bronchial epithelial cells but absent in 13 of 14 lung adenocarcinoma and 9 out of 10 lung squamous carcinoma samples. Methylation at CpG sites of the LLC1 promoter was frequently observed in lung cancer cell lines and in a fraction of primary lung cancer tissues. Treatment with 5-aza deoxycytidine resulted in a reduced methylation of the LLC1 promoter concomitant with the increase of LLC1 expression. These results suggest that inactivation of LLC1 by means of promoter methylation is a frequent event in nonsmall cell lung cancer and may play a role in lung tumorigenesis.
- Nonsmall cell lung cancer
- Promoter methylation
- Serial analysis of gene expression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research