Background: Gastric carcinoma is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide, but the mechanisms underlying its development and progression still remain largely uncharacterized. As loss of trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) expression leads to neoplastic growth in the antropyloric mucosa of mice, the authors sought to comprehensively study the human TFF1 gene in primary gastric carcinomas.
Methods: The authors studied the human TFF1 gene in primary gastric carcinomas and normal gastric mucosa at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels through DNA sequencing, quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry.
Results: Strikingly, TFF1 mRNA expression was significantly decreased in all 37 gastric carcinomas studied compared with normal gastric mucosa. Furthermore, six tumor/normal pairs with available histologic samples demonstrated a marked decrease in protein expression in tumor samples. Screening of the entire TFF1 coding region in a panel of 42 human gastric tumors did not reveal any somatic mutations, although a few rare germline sequence variants were identified.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrated a significant decrease in the TFF1 transcript in the majority of human gastric carcinomas along with a corresponding reduction in protein expression, both of which occurred in the absence of gene mutation. Dysregulation of TFF1 expression at the transcript level was a critical event in the development of most gastric carcinomas.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.