Genome-wide profiling of gene amplification and deletion in cancer

Hum Cell. 2000 Sep;13(3):135-41.


Accumulations of genetic changes in somatic cells induce phenotypic transformations leading to cancer. Among these genetic changes, gene amplification and deletion are most frequently observed in several kinds of cancers. Amplification of oncogene and/or deletion of tumor suppressor gene, together with dysfunction of the gene by point mutation, are the main causes of cancer. Genome-wide analysis of amplification and deletion of genes in cancers is basic to resolving the mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) developed in 1992 has been utilized to identify DNA copy number abnormalities in various kind of cancers and several reports have shown its usefulness in screening of the genes involved in carcinogenesis, and also in the identification of prognostic factors in cancer. We have shown that 1q23 gain is associated with neuroblastomas that are resistant to aggressive treatment, and have poor prognosis, and 1q and 13q gains are possibly related to drug resistance in ovarian cancers. Recently, the "rough draft" of the human genome was reported and we are ready to utilize the vast information on genomic sequences in cancer research. Moreover, microarray technology enables us to analyze more than ten thousand genes at a time and revealed genetic abnormalities in cancers at a genome-wide level. By combination of microarray and CGH, a powerful screening method for oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in cancers, called array-CGH, has been developed by several groups. In this article, we overview these genome-wide analytical methods, CGH and array-CGH, and discuss their potential in molecular characterization of cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Amplification*
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor / genetics
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • Oncogenes / genetics