Beta-catenin forms complexes with Tcf and Lef-1 and functions as a transcriptional activator in the Wnt signalling pathway. Although recent investigations have been focused on the role of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC)/ beta-catenin/Tcf pathway in human tumorigenesis, there have been very few reports on mutations of the beta-catenin gene in a variety of tumour types. Using PCR and single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis, we examined 93 lung, 9 breast, 6 kidney, 19 cervical and 7 ovarian carcinoma cell lines for mutations in exon 3 of the beta-catenin gene. In addition, we tested these same samples for mutations in the NH2-terminal regulatory region of the gamma-catenin gene. Mutational analysis for the entire coding region of beta-catenin cDNA was also undertaken in 20 lung, 9 breast, 5 kidney and 6 cervical carcinoma cell lines. Deletion of most beta-catenin coding exons was confirmed in line NCI-H28 (lung mesothelioma) and a silent mutation at codon 214 in exon 5 was found in HeLa (cervical adenocarcinoma). A missense mutation at codon 19 and a silent mutation at codon 28 in the NH2-terminal regulatory region of the gamma-catenin gene were found in H1726 (squamous cell lung carcinoma) and H1048 (small cell lung carcinoma), respectively. Neither deletions nor mutations of these genes were detected in the other cell lines examined. These results suggest that beta- and gamma-catenins are infrequent mutational targets during development of human lung, breast, kidney, cervical and ovarian carcinomas.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.