Introduction: The most common mechanism underlying overexpression and activation of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in non-small-cell lung carcinoma could be attributed to the formation of a fusion protein. To date, five fusion partners of ALK have been reported, namely, echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4, tropomyosin-related kinase-fused gene, kinesin family member 5B, kinesin light chain 1, and protein tyrosine phosphatase, nonreceptor type 3.
Methods: In this article, we report a novel fusion gene huntingtin interacting protein 1 (HIP1)-ALK, which is conjoined between the huntingtin-interacting protein 1 gene HIP1 and ALK. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analysis were used to detect this fusion gene's transcript and protein expression, respectively. We had amplified the full-length cDNA sequence of this novel fusion gene by using 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The causative genomic translocation t(2;7)(p23;q11.23) for generating this novel fusion gene was verified by using genomic sequencing.
Results: The examined adenocarcinoma showed predominant acinar pattern, and ALK immunostaining was localized to the cytoplasm, with intense staining in the submembrane region. In break-apart, fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis for ALK, split of the 5' and 3' probe signals, and isolated 3' signals were observed. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction revealed that the tumor harbored a novel fusion transcript in which exon 21 of HIP1 was fused to exon 20 of ALK in-frame.
Conclusion: The novel fusion gene and its protein HIP1-ALK harboring epsin N-terminal homology, coiled-coil, juxtamembrane, and kinase domains, which could play a role in carcinogenesis, could become diagnostic and therapeutic target of the lung adenocarcinoma and deserve a further study in the future.