Expression and mutation analyses of MKK4, a candidate tumour suppressor gene encoded by chromosome 17p, in human gastric adenocarcinoma

K. S. Chae, B. K. Ryu, M. G. Lee, D. S. Byun, S. G. Chi

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Homozygous deletion or somatic mutations of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4), a candidate tumour suppressor gene located at 17p11, have been observed in many types of human tumours. To explore the likelihood that MKK4 acts as a suppressor in gastric tumorigenesis, we examined the expression and mutation status of MKK4 in 144 gastric tissues and cell line specimens. Expression of the MKK4 transcript was easily detectable in all normal and benign tumour tissues and none of 102 primary carcinomas and cell lines showed an abnormal reduction in MKK4 expression. Expression levels of MKK4 transcript showed no cancer-specific reduction in 43 matched sets and did not correlate with stage, grade and histopathological types of the tumours. Western blot analysis also revealed that MKK4 protein expression in carcinoma tissues and cell lines is comparable to non-cancerous tissues. A significant loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was detected at telomeric markers of the MKK4, locus. However, no allelic deletion of the MKK4 gene or at the centromeric loci was identified. Moreover, no evidences for somatic mutations leading to amino acid substitutions or frameshifts of MKK4 were identified in the carcinoma tissues and cell lines, whereas a substantial fraction of the same set showed allelic loss or mutations of the TP53 gene located at 17p13, suggesting that LOH at telomeric loci or the TP53 locus might not extend into the MKK4 gene in gastric cancers. In this study, we also report the identification of a highly conserved MKK4 processed pseudogene, which shares 95% homology with the coding region of the functional MKK4 transcript. Collectively, our data demonstrate that genomic deletion or somatic mutation of MKK4 is infrequent in gastric cancers, suggesting that MKK4 might not be a critical target of genetic inactivation in gastric tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2048-2057
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • 17p
  • Gastric cancer
  • Loss of heterozygosity
  • MKK4
  • Processed pseudogene
  • TP53
  • Tumour suppressor gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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