S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase downregulation contributes to tumorigenesis

Carcinogenesis. 2008 Nov;29(11):2089-95. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgn198. Epub 2008 Aug 19.


With the idea to discover novel genes involved in proliferation, we have performed a genome-wide loss-of-function genetic screen to identify additional putative tumor suppressor genes. We have previously identified five genes belonging to different biochemical families. In this report, we focused on the study of one of these genes designated S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (SAHH), which has also been previously identified in an independent short hairpin RNA screening. SAHH inactivation confers resistance to both p53 and p16(INK4)-induced proliferation arrest. Interestingly, SAHH inactivation inhibits p53 transcriptional activity and impairs DNA damage-induced transcription of p21(Cip1). Given that SAHH downregulation modulates senescence in primary cells, we also studied SAHH expression in human tumors at the messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels. SAHH mRNA was lost in 50% of tumor tissues from 206 patients with different kinds of tumors in comparison with normal tissue counterparts. Moreover, SAHH protein was also affected in some colon cancers. Such findings may be of relevance to cancer research, suggesting that SAHH might be a largely unexplored tumor suppressor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosylhomocysteinase / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Adenosylhomocysteinase