Recently, loss or inactivation of genes at specific chromosomal loci has been considered to be one of the important mechanisms during the development of human tumors. In order to identify tumor suppressor genes for gastric carcinoma, we performed restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis on 48 human gastric carcinomas. Allele losses were investigated for 14 specific loci on chromosomes 1, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 17. Loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 17p13.1 (p53 locus) was detected in 13 (68%) of 19 informative cases. Well-differentiated adenocarcinoma showed high frequencies of allele losses on chromosomes 5q (60%) and 17p (67%) in early cancers and on chromosomes 1q (67%), 5q (36%), 7p (33%), 7q (39%), and 17p (73%) in advanced cancers. In poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas, loss of heterozygosity was detected on chromosomes 1p (38%), 12q (31%), and 17p (60%). Allele losses on chromosomes 1q, 5q, and 7p were not detected in poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, their frequencies being significantly different between the two histological types.

These results suggest that allele loss on chromosome 17p is a common event in gastric carcinoma, regardless of histological type, and that allele loss on chromosome 5q may play a role in the carcinogenesis of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma. Additionally, allele losses on chromosomes 1q and 7p may be involved in the progression of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma.


This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for a Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan and in part by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan.

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