Using single-strand conformation polymorphism we have found two polymorphic sites, AAC to AAT at codon 511 (exon 12) and GCT to GCG at codon 708 (exon 15), in the MCC gene. These sites and an RsaI polymorphic site in APC allowed us to study 23 human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 7 non-small cell lung cancer samples for allele loss. Of the 23 SCLC samples, 21 (91%) were informative for one or more of these markers, and we found allele loss in more than 80% (17 of 21). In non-small cell lung cancer samples, 5 of 7 (71%) were informative, and reduction or loss of one allele was found in 2 of 5 (40%). Seven cases were informative for both genes, loss of heterozygosity occurred for both genes in five, one retained heterozygosity for both, and one SCLC had loss of heterozygosity for APC but not for MCC. We conclude that loss of heterozygosity occurs frequently for MCC and APC in lung cancer of all histological types and is very frequent in SCLC. This suggests the presence of tumor suppressor gene(s) in the MCC/APC region of 5q21 involved in human lung cancer.

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