Several lines of evidence suggest that the progression of head-and-neck squamous-cell carcinoma (HNSCC) involves inactivation of at least one and possibly several tumor-suppressor genes on the long arm of chromosome 13. The fact that neither Rb1 nor BRCA2 appears to be inactivated in the majority of head-and-neck cancers suggests that novel tumor-suppressor genes are involved. We have used microsatellite repeat polymorphisms and PCR to detect several distinct minimal regions of deletion on 13q in supraglottic and oral squamous-cell carcinomas. One region maps to 13q34, the second to 13q14.3 and a potential third region, not reported in previous studies, maps to 13q12.1. Overall, 69% of the 145 tumors examined demonstrated allelic loss at one or more loci on 13q. We investigated whether a novel suppressor candidate mapping to 13q14. 3-q21, leukemia-associated gene 1, might also be involved in the progression of squamous-cell carcinomas. Multiplexed PCR revealed homozygous deletion of leu1 in one oral cavity tumor. This suggests that this gene or one nearby may be the actual target of deletions in this region of the chromosome arm.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.