Abnormalities in the expression of cell cycle-related proteins in tumors of the small bowel

Nadir Arber*, Hanina Hibshoosh, Wataru Yasui, Alfred I. Neugut, Aharon Hibshoosh, Yao Yao, Alessandro Sgambato, Hirofumi Yamamoto, Itzhak Shapira, David Rosenman, Ina Fabian, I. Bernard Weinstein, Eiichi Tahara, Peter R. Holt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumors of the small bowel are quite rare for unknown reasons, although they resemble colorectal tumors in many respects. The purpose of this study was to determine whether abnormalities in the expression of several cell cycle control genes are of importance in small bowel tumorigenesis by comparing a series of samples of normal mucosa, adenomatous polyps, and adenocarcinomas. The levels of cyclin D1, cyclin E, p16, p21, p27, and p53 proteins were determined by immunohistochemistry in samples of normal small bowel (n = 16), small bowel adenomas (n = 20), and small bowel adenocarcinomas (n = 24). Normal small bowel mucosa expressed p27 protein, but not the other cell cycle-related proteins. About 20% of the tumors displayed a decrease in the expression of this protein. The most frequent alteration in the tumors was an increase in the p16 protein. Increased expression of p53 was associated with tumor progression because it was overexpressed in 45% of the adenomas and 65% of the adenocarcinomas (P < 0.05). Advanced age and increased detection of cyclin D1 and p53 were associated with a decreased 3-year survival (P < 0.05). Cell cycle abnormalities are early and important events in the multistep process of small bowel tumorigenesis, thus resembling colorectal carcinogenesis. As in colon cancer, deregulated expression of G1 proteins may perturb cell cycle control in benign adenomas of the small bowel and thereby enhance tumor progression. Increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors in tumors may serve as a defense mechanism for tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1105
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999


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