Characterization of the gene encoding pinin/DRS/memA and evidence for its potential tumor suppressor function.

PMID 10645008


Several cell adhesion-related proteins have been shown to act as tumor-suppressors (TS) in the neoplastic progression of epithelial-derived tumors. Pinin/DRS/memA was first identified in our laboratory and it was shown to be a cell adhesion-related molecule. Our previous study demonstrated that restoration of pinin expression in transformed cells not only positively influenced cellular adhesive properties but also reversed the transformed phenotype to more epithelial-like. Here, we show by FISH analysis that the gene locus for pinin is within 14q13. The alignment of the pinin gene with STS markers localized the gene to the previously identified TS locus D14S75-D14S288. Northern analyses revealed diminished pinin mRNA in renal cell carcinomas (RCC) and certain cancer cell lines. Immunohistochemical examination of tumor samples demonstrated absent or greatly reduced pinin in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and RCC tumors. TCC-derived J82 cells as well as EcR-293 cells transfected with full-length pinin cDNA demonstrated inhibition of anchorage-independent growth of cells in soft agar. Furthermore, methylation analyses revealed that aberrant methylation of pinin CpG islands was correlated with decreased/absent pinin expression in a subset of tumor tissues. These data lend significant support to the hypothesis that pinin/DRS/memA may act as a tumor suppressor in certain types of cancers.