Aberrant FHIT transcripts in Merkel cell carcinoma

Cancer Res. 1996 Jun 1;56(11):2472-4.


Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin which shares several features with small cell lung carcinoma. In a previous study, we reported a high frequency of abnormalities of the FHIT gene, located at 3p14.2, in small cell lung tumors. To determine the role of the FHIT gene in small cell neuroendocrine malignancies, 14 cases of Merkel cell carcinoma were analyzed by reverse transcription of FHIT mRNA followed by PCR amplification and sequencing of products. Eight of 14 tumors (57%) displayed abnormal FHIT products that lacked three or more exons of the FHIT gene. The pattern of abnormal transcripts was similar to that observed in small cell lung tumors, suggesting that FHIT abnormalities might be a common genetic marker of these two types of neuroendocrine tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases*
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Point Mutation
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • fragile histidine triad protein
  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases