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Inomata M. Uchino S. Tanimura H. Shiraishi N. Adachi Y. Kitano S.
First Department of Surgery, Oita Medical University, Hasama-machi, Oita 879-55, Japan.
Cyclin D1 is a cell-cycle regulator essential for G1 phase progression and a candidate proto-oncogene implicated in pathogenesis of several human tumor types including esophageal cancers. Association between cyclin D1 gene amplification and clinical outcome was examined using southern blotting in 45 patients with primary esophageal cancer. In cases showing gene amplification, expression levels of mRNA and gene product were further examined by northern blotting, western blotting and immunohistochemical analyses. Amplification of cyclin D1 gene was found in 14 of 45 patients (31. 1%). There was no association between gene amplification and clinicopathological parameters but the frequency of hematogenous recurrence in cases with gene amplification was significantly higher than that in cases without amplification in 30 patients undergoing curative surgery (70.0% vs 25.0%, p<0.05). Furthermore, cumulative survival rate of cases with gene amplification was significantly lower than that of cases without amplification (p<0.05). Overexpression of cyclin D1 mRNA was observed in 12 of 14 cases (85. 7%) showing gene amplification but overexpression of its protein was found in only four cases (28.6%). Amplification of the cyclin D1 gene is a reliable prognostic factor and post-translational modification of this gene may play a functionally important role in development of primary esophageal cancer.