Identification of SMURF1 as a possible target for 7q21.3-22.1 amplification detected in a pancreatic cancer cell line by in-house array-based comparative genomic hybridization

Cancer Sci. 2008 May;99(5):986-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2008.00779.x.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) cell lines provide a useful starting point for the discovery and functional analysis of genes driving the genesis and progression of this lethal cancer. To increase our understanding of the gene copy number changes in pancreatic carcinomas and to identify key amplification and deletion targets, we applied genome-wide array-based comparative genomic hybridization using in-house array (MCG Cancer Array-800) to 24 PC cell lines. Overall, the analyses revealed high genomic complexity, with several copy number changes detected in each line. Homozygous deletions (log(2)ratio < -2) of eight genes (clones) were seen in 14 of the 24 cell lines, whereas high-level amplifications (log(2)ratio > 2) of 10 genes (clones) were detected in seven lines. Among them, we focused on high-level amplification at 7q22.1, because target genes for this alteration remain unknown. Through precise mapping of the altered region by fluorescence in situ hybridization, determination of the expression status of genes located within those regions, and functional analysis using knockdown of the gene expression or the ectopic overexpression approach in PC cell lines, as well as immunohistochemical analyses of candidates in primary tumors of PC, we successfully identified SMURF1 as having the greatest potential as a 7q21.3-22.1 amplification target. SMURF1 may work as a growth-promoting gene in PC through overexpression and might be a good candidate as a therapeutic target. Our results suggest that array-based comparative genomic hybridization analysis combined with further genetic and functional examinations is a useful approach for identifying novel tumor-associated genes involved in the pathogenesis of this lethal disease.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7*
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics*


  • SMURF1 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases