To elucidate the role of the recently identified FHIT gene, located at 3p14.2 in human brain tumor carcinogenesis, a total of 259 tumors were analyzed for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at microsatellite loci D3S1313, D3S1234, D3S1300, and D3S1481. In primary brain tumors, LOH was detected at a frequency of 8.4% (n = 214). Low-grade gliomas exhibited insignificantly lower LOH rates in comparison to high-grade gliomas (5.3%, n = 19, versus 11.1%, n = 90). Notably, no allelic loss was observed in 12 recurrent glioblastomas analyzed in comparison to their corresponding primary tumor lesions and in two astrocytomas with progression to higher grades of malignancy. Our data indicate that allelic loss of the FHIT gene is neither a critical event in carcinogenesis of primary brain tumors nor tumor grade-associated in astrocytic tumors. In contrast, observed LOH rate for brain metastases was as high as 54.5% (n = 45), in accordance with data thus far accumulated from analyses of corresponding primary tumors.

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