Purpose: To study the structure and expression of the cyclin D1 and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes in a cohort of 298 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens.
Methods: Gene structure was studied by Southern analysis, and gene expression was studied by Northern analysis and immunohistochemical analysis.
Results: Amplification of the cyclin D1 locus was found in 14/298 (5%) specimens. All 12/12 specimens with amplification of the cyclin D1 gene for which RNA was available were found to express the cyclin D1 transcript, and 11/12 overexpressed the transcript to levels higher than that of uninvolved lung. The EGFR gene was amplified in 17/286 samples of NSCLC tested, and was overexpressed in 22/169 (13%) cases tested, including 12/13 cases with amplification of the gene for which RNA was available. Cyclin D1 gene amplification was associated with advanced lymph node involvement (P = 0.043), but not with larger tumor size or adverse outcome. Cyclin D1 gene amplification and overexpression occurred independently of retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor gene (RB) inactivation, but tumors with amplification of the cyclin D1 gene were more likely to have EGFR gene amplification (P < 0.005). No correlation of EGFR gene amplification or overexpression with tumor size, lymph node involvement, patient demographic data, or survival was identified.
Conclusions: These data indicate that the cyclin D1 and EGFR genes are amplified and overexpressed in NSCLC, and amplification of the cyclin D1 gene occurs frequently in conjunction with amplification of the EGFR gene.