Alterations of DNA mismatch repair proteins and microsatellite instability levels in gastric cancer cell lines.

Y Yao, H Tao, Jj Kim, B Burkhead, Emilia Carloni, Antonio Gasbarrini, Ar Sepulveda

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Alterations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins result in microsatellite instability (MSI), increased mutation accumulation at target genes and cancer development. About one-third of gastric cancers display high-level microsatellite instability (MSI-High) and low-level microsatellite instability (MSI-Low) is frequently detected. To determine whether variations in the levels of MMR proteins or mutations in the main DNA MMR genes are associated with MSI-Low and MSI-High in gastric cancer cell lines, the MSI status (MSI-High, MSI-Low or MS-Stable (MSS)) of 14 gastric cancer lines was determined using multiple clone analysis with a panel of five microsatellite markers. Protein levels of hMLH1, hMSH2, hMSH6, hPMS2 and hPMS1 were determined by Western blot. Sequence analysis of hMLH1 and hMSH2 was performed and the methylation status of the hMLH1 promoter was examined. The cell lines SNU1 and SNU638 showed MSI-High, decreased to essentially absent hMLH1 and hPMS2 and reduced hPMS1 and hMSH6 protein levels. The hMLH1 promoter region was hypermethylated in SNU638 cells. The MKN28, MKN87, KATOIII and SNU601 cell lines showed MSI-Low. The MMR protein levels of cells with MSI-Low status was similar to the levels detected in MSS cells. A marked decrease in the expression levels of MutL MMR proteins (hMLH1, hPMS2 and hPMS1) is associated with high levels of MSI mutations in gastric cancer cells. Gastric cancer cell lines with MSI-Low status do not show significant changes in the levels of the main DNA MMR proteins or mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes hMSH2 and hMLH1. These well-characterized gastric cancer cell lines are a valuable resource to further our understanding of DNA MMR deficiency in cancer development, progression and prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • gastric cancer
  • microsatellite instability
  • mismatch repair protein


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