A methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) fusion transcript identifies a new gene on chromosome 9p21 that is frequently deleted in cancer

Oncogene. 2000 Nov 23;19(50):5747-54. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1203942.


Homozygous deletions of human chromosome 9p21 occur frequently in malignant cell lines, and are also common in primary gliomas, lung cancers, and leukemias. Moving from the centromere to the telomere, this complex region encodes the tumor suppressor genes p15INK4B (CDKN2B), p14ARF, p16INK4A (CDKN2A), and the housekeeping gene methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP). However, not all chromosome 9p21 deletions in tumors include these tumor suppressor genes. Here we describe the partial sequence and the exact localization of a new gene on chromosome 9p21 centromeric of p15INK4B, that formed an in frame fusion transcript with MTAP in a glioma xenograft, and that is homozygously deleted in various malignant cell lines. Northern blot revealed corresponding 1.5 kb transcript in non-deleted cell lines as well as in normal lymphocytes. Using a RNA master blot membrane including 50 different tissues, we could show that this new transcript is expressed in all tissues of the adult but not or only at very low levels in most of the fetal tissues tested. The expression pattern is similar to that of p16INK4A. The localization as well as the deletion pattern makes this transcript a candidate for a new tumor suppressor gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins*
  • Child
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 9*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cosmids / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16*
  • Exons
  • Gene Deletion
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / biosynthesis
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / isolation & purification
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / biosynthesis
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / genetics*
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • CDKN2B protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cdkn2b protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase
  • 5'-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase