The chromosome region 18q21 is frequently deleted in lung cancers. Recent identification of JV18-1 at this locus led us to examine whether or not it might also be altered in lung cancers, as is the case for the closely related DPC4 tumor suppressor gene. A missense somatic mutation and a 9-bp in-frame deletion were detected in the highly conserved region of JV18-1 among 57 lung cancer specimens taken directly from patients. The total alterations in JV18-1 and DPC4, however, are not sufficient to account for all 18q21 deletions in lung cancers. These findings suggest that although JV18-1 and DPC4 may play roles in a limited fraction of lung cancers, another tumor suppressor gene may also exist in this chromosome region.
This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for the Second Term Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control, Cancer Research from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan, and Scientific Research on Priority Areas from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Japan.