Genetic analyses and mRNA expression studies have implicated CUTL1 as a candidate tumor-suppressor gene in uterine leiomyomas and breast cancers. However, modulation of CDP/Cux, the protein encoded by CUTL1, does not agree with this notion. The activity of CDP/Cux, which is the DNA binding subunit of HiNF-D, was upregulated as normal cells progressed into S phase and constitutively elevated in several tumor cell lines. Activation of CDP/Cux at the G(1)/S transition involved the proteolytic processing of the protein to generate a shorter isoform. Uterine leiomyomas represent a unique reagent for molecular analysis because they are resected as homogeneous tumor tissue together with the adjacent normal myometrium and they are often very large. In the present study, proteins were isolated from 16 pairs of matched tumors and adjacent myometrium and analyzed by Western blot and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Strikingly, in 11/16 tumors, the steady-state level of small CDP/Cux isoforms was increased compared to normal control tissue. Where tested, a corresponding increase in CDP/Cux stable DNA binding activity was observed. DNA sequencing analysis of CUTL1 cDNAs from 6 leiomyomas, including 4 with LOH of CUTL1, did not reveal any gross rearrangement or point mutations. Altogether these findings suggest that CUTL1 is probably not the tumor suppressor on 7q22. Moreover, the frequent increase in smaller CDP/Cux isoforms indicates that molecular events associated with the truncation of CDP/Cux proteins may be selected in uterine leiomyomas.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.