Thymidylate synthase gene promoter polymorphisms are associated with TSmRNAexpressions but not with microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer

Daniela Cabibi, Anna Calascibetta, Rosario Sanguedolce, Salvatore Feo, Anna Martorana, Dardanoni, Rosario Sanguedolce, Giorgio Sanguedolce, Luciano Rausa

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19 Citations (Scopus)


AbstractBACKGROUND:Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a biological characteristic of most tumours, being involved in 85% of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). It also occurs in 10-15% of sporadic colorectal cancers (CRC). HNPCC appears to be caused by germline mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes, which are responsible for repairing single base-pair mismatches. MSI is also associated with a better response of CRC to adjuvant chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidines. We investigated any relationship between the MSI status and the TSmRNA expression, the polymorphisms of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU cellular target, the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) and TS expression evaluated by means of immunohistochemistry.MATERIALS AND METHODS:A series of 80 colorectal cancers was evaluated for MSI and polymorphisms in the 3'UTR and the 5'UTR of the TS gene by a PCR assay. TSmRNA was quantified by real-time PCR and the TS expression by immunohistochemical assay.RESULTS:There was no significant association between the polymorphisms in the TS gene and the MSI or between the TSmRNA expression and the MSI status. CRC with a 3R/3R or 2R/3R genotype showed a significantly higher TSmRNA expression than those with the 2R/2R genotype (p = 0.001 and p = 0.028, respectively). Another significant association was found between the TSmRNA expression and the TS immunohistochemical determination (p = < 0.05). No association was found between the polymorphism of the 3'UTR and the TSmRNA expression.CONCLUSION:Our data show that there is no association between MSI status and the polymorphisms in the 3' and 5' UTRs and the TS expression. Tumour samples displaying the 3R/3R or 2R/3R genotype of TS have higher TSmRNA levels than the 2R/2R genotype. Polymorphic variant of the 3'UTR does not influence the TSmRNA level. We found a relationship between the TSmRNA expression, evaluated by real-time PCR, and with the TS level determined by immunohistochemical assay. Thus, genotyping of the 5'UTR and quantification of the TSmRNA expression in human CRC could be considered as predictors for response to SFU-based chemotherapy. The evaluation of the TS expression by means of immunohistochemistry assay remains a safe and reliable assay in CRC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3875-3880
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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