During mitosis, the spindle checkpoint delays the onset of anaphase until all chromosomes have attached properly to the mitotic spindle, preventing chromosome missegregation. BUB (budding uninhibited by benzimidazole) 1 is one of the key components of this checkpoint. BUB1 mutations are rare in cancer tissues and no mutations have been identified in gastric cancer. In mice, immunodepletion of BUB1 abolished the spindle checkpoint. Thus, aberrant expression of BUB1 protein could impair mitotic checkpoint function, resulting in aneuploidy, a common phenomenon in gastric cancer. In the present study, an antibody was generated against BUB1 and its expression was studied in gastric cancer tissue sections (n = 80) by immunohistochemistry. Nuclear BUB1 expression was found in all gastric cancer cases. The proportion of tumour cells expressing BUB1 was significantly greater in diffuse-type than in intestinal-type gastric carcinoma (p < 0.001). No correlation was found between BUB1 expression and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ploidy, microsatellite instability or any other histopathological parameters investigated. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study of BUB1 protein expression in gastric cancer tissues. Different BUB1 protein expression levels in intestinal- and diffuse-type gastric cancer may provide further evidence of a potential link between different genetic pathways and morphological phenotype in gastric carcinogenesis. However, further studies are needed to establish whether there is an association between BUB1 protein expression level and mitotic spindle checkpoint function in gastric cancer.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.