Expression of the Ca[sup 2+]-Activated Chloride Channel Genes CLCA1 and CLCA2 Is Downregulated in Human Colorectal Cancer

Bustin, Stephen A.; Li, Shu-Rui; Dorudi, Sina
June 2001
DNA & Cell Biology;Jun2001, Vol. 20 Issue 6, p331
Academic Journal
The role of ion channels in carcinogenesis and tumor progression remains unclear. We have used suppression subtractive hybridization of mRNA from paired normal colon epithelium and tumor, followed by quantitative kinetic RT-PCR, to demonstrate that the transcription of two members of a novel Ca[sup 2+]-dependent chloride channel family, CLCA1 and CLCA2, was significantly downregulated in approximately 80% of colorectal carcinomas. This figure rose to >90% when expression was adjusted for tumor cell proliferation. In normal colon epithelium, CLCA1 mRNA levels were significantly associated with c-myc transcription but became decoupled in the tumor samples. There was no association between CLCA2 and either CLCA1 or c-myc mRNA levels. Transcription of both genes in three colorectal cancer cell lines, T84, HT29, and Caco2, was barely detectable. Illegitimate transcription of CLCA1 was detected in 12 of 15 blood samples taken from healthy volunteers, making its use as a marker for the detection of tumor spread unreliable. Our results suggest that CLCA1 could specify a new tumor suppressor and that, as in breast cancer, CLCA2 may function as a tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer.


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