Loss of heterozygosity of the mutated in colorectal cancer gene is not associated with promoter methylation in non-small cell lung cancer

Pirooz Poursoltan, Nicola Currey, Laurent Pangon, Christa van Kralingen, Christina I. Selinger, Annabelle Mahar, Wendy A. Cooper, Catherine W. Kennedy, Brian C. McCaughan, Ronald Trent, Maija R. J. Kohonen-Corish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


'Mutated in Colorectal Cancer' (MCC) is emerging as a multifunctional protein that affects several cellular processes and pathways. Although the MCC gene is rarely mutated in colorectal cancer, it is frequently silenced through promoter methylation. Previous studies have reported loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the closely linked MCC and APC loci in both colorectal and lung cancers. APC promoter methylation is a marker of poor survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, MCC methylation has not been previously studied in lung cancer. Therefore, we wanted to determine if MCC is silenced through promoter methylation in lung cancer and whether this methylation is associated with LOH of the MCC locus or methylation of the APC gene. Three polymorphic markers for the APC/MCC locus were analysed for LOH in 64 NSCLC specimens and matching normal tissues. Promoter methylation of both genes was determined using methylation specific PCR in primary tumours. LOH of the three markers was found in 41-49% of the specimens. LOH within the MCC locus was less common in adenocarcinoma (ADC) (29%) than in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (72%; P = 0.006) or large cell carcinoma (LCC) (75%; P = 0.014). However, this LOH was not accompanied by MCC promoter methylation, which was found in only two cancers (3%). In contrast, 39% of the specimens showed APC methylation, which was more common in ADC (58%) than in SCC (13%). Western blotting revealed that MCC was expressed in a subset of lung tissue specimens but there was marked variation between patients rather than between cancer and matching non-cancer tissue specimens. In conclusion, we have shown that promoter methylation of the APC gene does not extend to the neighbouring MCC gene in lung cancer, but LOH is found at both loci. The variable levels of MCC expression were not associated with promoter methylation and may be regulated through other cellular mechanisms. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-276
Number of pages5
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • APC
  • MCC
  • DNA methylation
  • Loss of heterozygosity

Cite this