Very large common fragile site genes and their potential role in cancer development

Ge Gao, David I. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Common fragile sites (CFSs) are large chromosomal regions that are hot-spots for alterations especially within cancer cells. The three most frequently expressed CFS regions (FRA3B, FRA16D and FRA6E) contain genes that span extremely large genomic regions (FHIT, WWOX and PARK2, respectively), and these genes were found to function as important tumor suppressors. Many other CFS regions contain extremely large genes that are also targets of alterations in multiple cancers, but none have yet been demonstrated to function as tumor suppressors. The loss of expression of just FHIT or WWOX has been found to be associated with a worse overall clinical outcome. Studies in different cancers have revealed that some cancers have decreased expression of multiple large CFS genes. This loss of expression could have a profound phenotypic effect on these cells. In this review, we will summarize the known large common fragile site genes and discuss their potential relationship to cancer development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4601-4615
Number of pages15
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - May 3 2014


  • Cancer development
  • Common fragile sites
  • Genome instability
  • Large genes
  • Tumor suppressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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