Accumulation of immature intron-containing CD44 gene transcripts in breast cancer tissues

John Bolodeoku, Kazuhiro Yoshida, Takashi Sugino, Steve Goodison, David Tarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Disorderly expression of the CD44 gene is a characteristic feature of many common types of human malignancy. The explanation for the diversity, abundancy, and abnormally large size of the resulting transcripts is under investigation. Methods and Results: This study used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)/Southern blot hybridization to examine the expression of the CD44 gene in fresh tissue samples from 21 breast cancers and 11 matched non-neoplastic breast tissue specimens from the same patients. Using probes for several exons and for a noncoding region (intron 9) of the gene, it was found that the previously described elevated levels of CD44 transcripts in malignant tumors of this organ include many unusual, alternatively spliced isotypes as well as immature forms that retain this intron and probably several others. All of the exons that were tested were involved in the disorderly overexpression of this gene observed in all of the cancer tissues, and we were able to detect retention of the intron 9 sequence in 14 (67%) of the 21 tumor samples. In contrast, it was possible to detect signals in only 3 (27%) of the 11 samples from nonmalignant breast tissue with this probe, and these were extremely faint. Conclusions: These findings imply that there is a profound disorder in the regulation of production, splicing, and processing of CD44 pre-mRNA in breast cancer tissues comparable to that described in tumors of many other organs. The clinical implication of this information is that analysis of tissue samples containing borderline or suspected premalignant lesions for the presence of these molecular abnormalities, which appear to be characteristic of neoplasia, may in due course help assessment of individual patient prognosis and optimization of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Diagnosis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Breast cancer
  • Gene expression
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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