The INK4a-ARF locus, located on chromosome 9p21, encodes 2 cell cycle-regulatory proteins, p16(INKa) and p14(ARF), acting through the Rb-CDK4 and p53 pathways. This study was done to investigate the contribution of the INK4a-ARF locus in tumorigenesis of angiosarcoma of the liver. Alterations of p14(ARF), p16(INKa), and p53 in primary liver angiosarcoma from 19 patients were analyzed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP), restriction enzyme-related polymerase chain reaction (RE-PCR), microsatellite analysis, and DNA sequencing. As a control group, 12 angiosarcomas from other organs were analyzed. Promoter methylation of p14(ARF) was found in 5 of 19 cases (26%), and p16(INKa) showed aberrant promoter methylation in 12 of 19 cases (63%). One tumor (5%) had homozygous deletion of the INK4a-ARF locus. Methylation and deletion correlated with loss of mRNA transcription. Methylated p14(ARF) appeared in the context of a methylated p16(INKa) promoter in 3 cases of the 5 angiosarcomas methylated at p14(ARF). p14(ARF) aberrant methylation was not related to the presence of p53 mutations, which was detected in 6 of 19 (32%) cases. Alterations of the INK4a-ARF locus or p53 as were not established independent prognostic factors in these tumors. In conclusion, our data indicate that the INK4a-ARF locus is frequently inactivated in angiosarcoma of the liver and occurs independently of p53 mutations.
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