Gene Summary

Gene:FHIT; fragile histidine triad diadenosine triphosphatase
Aliases: FRA3B, AP3Aase
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a P1-P3-bis(5'-adenosyl) triphosphate hydrolase involved in purine metabolism. This gene encompasses the common fragile site FRA3B on chromosome 3, where carcinogen-induced damage can lead to translocations and aberrant transcripts. In fact, aberrant transcripts from this gene have been found in about half of all esophageal, stomach, and colon carcinomas. The encoded protein is also a tumor suppressor, as loss of its activity results in replication stress and DNA damage. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

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Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: FHIT (cancer-related)

Fu Y, Shan X, Song W, et al.
Correlations of breast cancer FHIT gene with the incidence and prognosis of breast cancer.
J BUON. 2019 Jan-Feb; 24(1):40-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The study aimed to investigate the expression level of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) in breast cancer and analyze its prognostic value.
METHODS: 148 patients admitted and definitely diagnosed with breast cancer in Daqing Long Nan Hospital from January 2011 to January 2013 were collected. Breast cancer, cancer-adjacent and normal tissues of the patients were taken and immunohistochemically stained, and the relationship between FHIT and p16 expressions were analyzed at the gene and protein levels. In addition, clinical data of patients were collected, and analyzed if there was a correlation between FHIT and p16 expressions.
RESULTS: FHIT and p16 were strongly positive in cancer-adjacent tissues and normal tissues but weakly positive in breast cancer tissues, with statistically significant differences in FHIT and p16 expressions (p<0.05). FHIT expression was positively correlated with p16 expression in breast cancer tissues (Spearman's correlation coefficient r=0.352, p=0.026). There were correlations of FHIT with TNM staging of breast cancer, grade of differentiation, lymph node metastasis and formation of portal vein tumor thrombi (p<0.05 in all comparisons). P16 was correlated with tumor size and grade of differentiation (p<0.05 in all comparisons). Expressions of both FHIT and p16 genes and proteins in breast cancer tissues were remarkably lower than those in cancer-adjacent and normal tissues (p<0.05 in all comparisons). Log-rank analysis showed that the 5-year overall survival of patients with FHIT+p16+expressions was significantly longer than that of patients with other phenotypes of expressions (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: The tumor suppressor gene FHIT is lowly expressed in breast cancer tissues and positively associated with the expression of the multi-tumor suppressor gene p16. The 5-year overall prognosis of patients with FHIT+p16+ expressions was better and can be used as one of the prognostic indicators for breast cancer patients.

Bai Y, Shen Y, Yuan Q, et al.
Evaluation of Relationship between Occurrence of Liver Cancer and Methylation of Fragile Histidine Triad (FHIT) and P16 Genes.
Med Sci Monit. 2019; 25:1301-1306 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND We examined the level of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) and p16 gene methylation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and explored the relationship to liver cancer. MATERIAL AND METHODS There were 56 patients with primary liver cancer who were admitted to the hospital from July 2015 to October 2017 included in the liver cancer group, and 24 non-hepatoma patients (hepatitis A/hepatitis B/hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis, liver fibrosis, and fatty liver, alcoholic liver identified as a control group. Fasting venous blood samples were collected from the 2 groups. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) was used to detect the methylation of FHIT and p16 genes in the 2 groups. The risk factors for lung cancer were analyzed by logistic regression. In addition, the effects of FHIT and p16 gene methylation on the diagnostic accuracy of liver cancer were calculated. RESULTS The incidence of FHIT and p16 methylation in serum from the liver cancer group was 51.8% and 67.9%, respectively. The incidence of FHIT and p16 methylation in the non-hepatoma group was 16.7% and 25.0%. There was a statistical statistically correlated with gender, and the methylation of FHIT and p16 genes (P<0.05). From logistic regression analysis results, methylation of p16 and FHIT genes was an independent risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma with odds ratio (OR) values of 10.550 (2.313~48.116) and 8.239 (2.386~28.455), respectively. CONCLUSIONS The methylation of p16 and FHIT genes was an independent risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Haragannavar VC, Tegginamani AS, Raju S, et al.
Assessment of fragile histidine triad expression in ameloblastoma, odontogenic keratocyst and dentigerous cyst.
Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2019 Jan-Mar; 62(1):3-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: FHIT (Fragile histidine triad) a member of tumor suppressor family, has been extensively studied in many solid tumors including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Among all head and neck cyst and tumors odontogenic lesions account approximately 3%-9%. The molecular pathogenesis of these lesions is less explored. Defects in cell cycle regulators and tumor suppressor genes could result in the development of odontogenic cyst and tumors. Hence, we aimed to determine the significant role of a tumor suppressor gene FHIT in most commonly occurring odontogenic lesions mainly ameloblastoma, odontogenic keratocyst and dentigerous cyst.
Subjects and Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis of FHIT was done in ameloblastoma, odontogenic keratocyst, dentigerous cyst and dental follicle. Interpretation of the stained slides were done using standard scoring criteria by two pathologist. The results were subjected for statistical analysis.
Results: Expression of FHIT varied among the groups, with highest negative expression in ameloblastoma 44.4% followed by odontogenic keratocyst 14% and 100%positive expression was seen in dentigerous cyst. The expression levels between the groups were statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: The varied expression or negative expression of FHIT could be considered as an indicator for aggressive behavior and transformation of preneoplastic/cystic epithelium.

Callahan CL, Bonner MR, Nie J, et al.
Active and secondhand smoke exposure throughout life and DNA methylation in breast tumors.
Cancer Causes Control. 2019; 30(1):53-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Tobacco smoke exposure has been associated with altered DNA methylation. However, there is a paucity of information regarding tobacco smoke exposure and DNA methylation of breast tumors.
METHODS: We conducted a case-only analysis using breast tumor tissue from 493 postmenopausal and 225 premenopausal cases in the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) study. Methylation of nine genes (SFN, SCGB3A1, RARB, GSTP1, CDKN2A, CCND2, BRCA1, FHIT, and SYK) was measured with pyrosequencing. Participants reported their secondhand smoke (SHS) and active smoking exposure for seven time periods. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) of having methylation higher than the median.
RESULTS: SHS exposure was associated with tumor DNA methylation among postmenopausal but not premenopausal women. Active smoking at certain ages was associated with increased methylation of GSTP1, FHIT, and CDKN2A and decreased methylation of SCGB3A1 and BRCA1 among both pre- and postmenopausal women.
CONCLUSION: Exposure to tobacco smoke may contribute to breast carcinogenesis via alterations in DNA methylation. Further studies in a larger panel of genes are warranted.

Diaz RJ, Luck A, Bondoc A, et al.
Characterization of a Clival Chordoma Xenograft Model Reveals Tumor Genomic Instability.
Am J Pathol. 2018; 188(12):2902-2911 [PubMed] Related Publications
Patient-derived xenografts retain the genotype of the parent tumors more readily than tumor cells maintained in culture. The two previously reported clival chordoma xenografts were derived from recurrent tumors after radiation. To study the genetics of clival chordoma in the absence of prior radiation exposure we established a patient-derived xenograft at primary resection of a clival chordoma. Epicranial grafting of clival chordoma collected during surgery was performed. Tumor growth was established in a nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mouse and tumors have been passaged serially for seven generations. Physaliferous cell architecture was shown in the regenerated tumors, which stained positive for Brachyury, cytokeratin, and S100 protein. The tumors showed bone invasion. Single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis of the tumor xenograft was compared with the parental tumor. Copy number gain of the T gene (brachyury) and heterozygous loss of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) was observed. Heterozygous loss of the tumor-suppressor fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene also was observed, although protein expression was preserved. Accumulation of copy number losses and gains as well as increased growth rate was observed over three generations. The patient-derived xenograft reproduces the phenotype of clival chordoma. This model can be used in the future to study chordoma biology and to assess novel treatments.

Saldivar JC, Park D
Mechanisms shaping the mutational landscape of the FRA3B/FHIT-deficient cancer genome.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2019; 58(5):317-323 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome instability is an enabling characteristic of cancer that facilitates the acquisition of oncogenic mutations that drive tumorigenesis. Underlying much of the instability in cancer is DNA replication stress, which causes both chromosome structural changes and single base-pair mutations. Common fragile sites are some of the earliest and most frequently altered loci in tumors. Notably, the fragile locus, FRA3B, lies within the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene, and consequently deletions within FHIT are common in cancer. We review the evidence in support of FHIT as a DNA caretaker and discuss the mechanism by which FHIT promotes genome stability. FHIT increases thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) translation to balance the deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) for efficient DNA replication. Consequently, FHIT-loss causes replication stress, DNA breaks, aneuploidy, copy-number changes (CNCs), small insertions and deletions, and point mutations. Moreover, FHIT-loss-induced replication stress and DNA breaks cooperate with APOBEC3B overexpression to catalyze DNA hypermutation in cancer, as APOBEC family enzymes prefer single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) as substrates and ssDNA is enriched at sites of both replication stress and DNA breaks. Consistent with the frequent loss of FHIT across a broad spectrum of cancer types, FHIT-deficiency is highly associated with the ubiquitous, clock-like mutation signature 5 occurring in all cancer types thus far examined. The ongoing destabilization of the genome caused by FHIT loss underlies recurrent inactivation of tumor suppressors and activation of oncogenes. Considering that more than 50% of cancers are FHIT-deficient, we propose that FRA3B/FHIT fragility shapes the mutational landscape of cancer genomes.

Li W, Qi Y, Cui X, et al.
Characteristic of HPV Integration in the Genome and Transcriptome of Cervical Cancer Tissues.
Biomed Res Int. 2018; 2018:6242173 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
High-risk HPV is clearly associated with cervical cancer. HPV integration has been confirmed to promote carcinogenesis in the previous studies. In our study, a total of 285 DNA breakpoints and 287 RNA breakpoints were collected. We analyzed the characteristic of HPV integration in the DNA and RNA samples. The results revealed that the patterns of HPV integration in RNA and DNA samples differ significantly.

Bersanelli M, Gnetti L, Azzoni C, et al.
Loss of heterozygosity of key tumor suppressor genes in advanced renal cancer patients treated with nivolumab.
Immunotherapy. 2018; 10(9):743-752 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We studied the possible clinical significance of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at key tumor suppressor genes loci in advanced renal cancer patients treated with nivolumab.
METHODS: LOH study was performed on 3p14.2 (FHIT gene); 3p21.3-21.2; 9p21 (BDMF gene); 9p22 (SH3GL2 gene).
RESULTS: Of 12 patients, 8 (67%) had LOH. The most affected gene was FHIT. All five patients with LOH at FHIT locus had good outcome, mean progression free survival of 6.8 months. The patients LOH negative at FHIT locus had mean progression free survival of 4 months, 67% were treatment refractory. Overall, 75% of patients with LOH of at least one gene had benefit; 75% of LOH negative cases were refractory.
CONCLUSION: LOH at key tumor suppressor genes should be further investigated as predictive for immunotherapy.

Mobini GR, Ghafari A, Amanpour S, et al.
In vivo identification of novel TGIF2LX target genes in colorectal adenocarcinoma using the cDNA-AFLP method.
Arab J Gastroenterol. 2018; 19(2):65-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: Homeobox-containing genes are composed of a group of regulatory genes encoding transcription factors involved in the control of developmental processes. The homeodomain proteins could activate or repress the expression of downstream target genes. This study was conducted to in vivo identify the potential target gene(s) of TGIF2LX in colorectal adenocarcinoma.
METHODS: A human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line, SW48, was transfected with the recombinant pEGFPN1-TGIF2LX. The cells were injected subcutaneously into the flank of the three groups of 6-week-old female athymic C56BL/6 nude mice (n = 6 per group). The transcript profiles in the developed tumours were investigated using the cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) technique.
RESULTS: The real-time RT-PCR and DNA sequencing data for the identified genes indicated that the N-terminal domain-interacting receptor 1 (Nir1) gene was suppressed whereas Nir2 and fragile histidine triad (FHIT) genes were upregulated followed by the overexpression of TGIF2LX gene.
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of Nir1 and upregulation of Nir2 and FHIT genes due to the overexpression of TGIF2LX suggests that the gene plays an important role as a suppressor in colorectal adenocarcinoma.

Walter RFH, Rozynek P, Casjens S, et al.
Methylation of L1RE1, RARB, and RASSF1 function as possible biomarkers for the differential diagnosis of lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0195716 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Differential diagnosis can be difficult, especially when only small samples are available. Epigenetic changes are frequently tissue-specific events in carcinogenesis and hence may serve as diagnostic biomarkers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 138 representative formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues (116 lung cancer cases and 22 benign controls) were used for targeted DNA methylation analysis via pyrosequencing of ten literature-derived methylation markers (APC, CDH1, CDKN2A, EFEMP1, FHIT, L1RE1, MGMT, PTEN, RARB, and RASSF1). Methylation levels were analyzed with the Classification and Regression Tree Algorithm (CART), Conditional Interference Trees (ctree) and ROC. Validation was performed with additional 27 lung cancer cases and 38 benign controls. TCGA data for 282 lung cancer cases was included in the analysis.
RESULTS: CART and ctree analysis identified the combination of L1RE1 and RARB as well as L1RE1 and RASSF1 as independent methylation markers with high discriminative power between tumor and benign tissue (for each combination, 91% specificity and 100% sensitivity). L1RE1 methylation associated significantly with tumor type and grade (p<0.001) with highest methylation in the control group. The opposite was found for RARB (p<0.001). RASSF1 methylation increased with tumor type and grade (p<0.001) with strongest methylation in neuroendocrine tumors (NET).
CONCLUSION: Hypomethylation of L1RE1 is frequent in tumors compared to benign controls and associates with higher grade, whereas increasing methylation of RARB is an independent marker for tumors and higher grade. RASSF1 hypermethylation was frequent in tumors and most prominent in NET making it an auxiliary marker for separation of NSCLC and NET. L1RE1 in combination with either RARB or RASSF1 could function as biomarkers for separating lung cancer and non-cancerous tissue and could be useful for samples of limited size such as biopsies.

Liu XP, Yin XH, Yan XH, et al.
The Clinical Relevance of Fragile Histidine Triad Protein (FHIT) in Patients with Bladder Cancer.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:3113-3118 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND The present study aimed to investigate the clinical relevance of fragile histidine triad protein (FHIT) in patients with bladder cancer (BC). MATERIAL AND METHODS Three independent BC microarray studies were collected and reanalyzed. The expression of FHIT was evaluated between BC samples and normal bladder tissues. The correlation between the expression of FHIT and clinicopathological features was analyzed using the chi-square test. Log-rank based survival analysis was conducted to detect the survival significance of FHIT in patients with BC. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed to identify the mechanisms. RESULTS FHIT was significantly downregulated in BC cells (p=0.0044). BC patients in the FHIT high expression group had better clinical characteristics (including invasiveness, tumor grade, disease progression, and T staging) than those in the FHIT low expression group (p<0.0001, p<0.0001, p=0.031, p<0.0001, and p=0.056, respectively). Patients in the FHIT high expression group had better cancer-specific survival (p<0.0001) and overall survival (p=0.0008) than those in the FHIT low expression. GSEA results indicated that BC samples in the FHIT low expression group were enriched in interferon alpha response, apoptosis, androgen response, interferon gamma response, heme metabolism, and transforming growth facto r(TGF) beta signaling. CONCLUSIONS FHIT predicts better clinical relevance for patients with BC, which may be a promising therapeutic target.

Du M, Thompson J, Fisher H, et al.
Genomic alterations of plasma cell-free DNAs in small cell lung cancer and their clinical relevance.
Lung Cancer. 2018; 120:113-121 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To identify genomic variations in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and evaluate their clinical utility in small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed whole genome sequencing using plasma cfDNAs derived from 24 SCLC patients for copy number variation (CNV) analysis, and targeted sequencing using 17 pairs of plasma cfDNA and their matched gDNA for mutation analysis. We defined somatic mutations by comparing cfDNA to its matched gDNA with 5% variant alleles as the cutoff for mutation calls. We applied Kaplan-Meier to correlate the genomic alterations with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).
RESULTS: We observed widespread somatic copy-number alterations and mutations, including amplification of MYC at 8q24, FGF10 at 5p13, SOX2 at 3q26 and FGFR1 at 8p12, as well as deletion of TP53 at 17p13, RASSF1 at 3p21.3, RB1 at 13q14.2, FHIT at 3p14, and PTEN at 10q23. The most frequent mutations were genes involved in chromatin regulation (KMT2D, ARID1A, SETBP1 and PBRM1), PI3K/MTOR pathway(MTOR,PIK13G), Notch1 signalling pathway (NOTCH1), and DNA repair related gene ATRX. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed poor OS and PFS in patients with somatic mutations in gene SETBP1 (P = 0.0061/0.0264, HR = 4.785/3.841, 95% CI = 2.014-28.25/1.286-16.58) and PBRM1 (P = 0.0276/0.0286, HR = 3.532/3.506, 95% CI = 1.275 to 25.34/1.26-24.87). Poor OS was also associated with somatic mutations in ATRX (P = 0.0099, HR = 4.024, 95% CI = 1.926-42.95), EP300 (P = 0.025/0.0622, HR = 3.382/2.891, 95% CI = 1.448-27.76/1.013-17.29), while poor PFS was associated with ATM mutation (P = 0.0038, HR = 4.604, 95% CI = 2.211-40.93). The mutation index produced by summing up the number of mutations in the five genes was significantly associated with the poor OS/PFS (P = 0.0185/0.0294) after adjusting the effect of the stage.
CONCLUSIONS: Our result supports blood plasma as a promising sample source for the genomic analysis in SCLC patients whose tumor tissues are scarcely available and demonstrates potential clinical utilities of cfDNA-based liquid biopsy for clinical management of this deadly disease.

Vural S, Simon R, Krushkal J
Correlation of gene expression and associated mutation profiles of APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, REV1, UNG, and FHIT with chemosensitivity of cancer cell lines to drug treatment.
Hum Genomics. 2018; 12(1):20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The APOBEC gene family of cytidine deaminases plays important roles in DNA repair and mRNA editing. In many cancers, APOBEC3B increases the mutation load, generating clusters of closely spaced, single-strand-specific DNA substitutions with a characteristic hypermutation signature. Some studies also suggested a possible involvement of APOBEC3A, REV1, UNG, and FHIT in molecular processes affecting APOBEC mutagenesis. It is important to understand how mutagenic processes linked to the activity of these genes may affect sensitivity of cancer cells to treatment.
RESULTS: We used information from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia and the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer resources to examine associations of the prevalence of APOBEC-like motifs and mutational loads with expression of APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, REV1, UNG, and FHIT and with cell line chemosensitivity to 255 antitumor drugs. Among the five genes, APOBEC3B expression levels were bimodally distributed, whereas expression of APOBEC3A, REV1, UNG, and FHIT was unimodally distributed. The majority of the cell lines had low levels of APOBEC3A expression. The strongest correlations of gene expression levels with mutational loads or with measures of prevalence of APOBEC-like motif counts and kataegis clusters were observed for REV1, UNG, and APOBEC3A. Sensitivity or resistance of cell lines to JQ1, palbociclib, bicalutamide, 17-AAG, TAE684, MEK inhibitors refametinib, PD-0325901, and trametinib and a number of other agents was correlated with candidate gene expression levels or with abundance of APOBEC-like motif clusters in specific cancers or across cancer types.
CONCLUSIONS: We observed correlations of expression levels of the five candidate genes in cell line models with sensitivity to cancer drug treatment. We also noted suggestive correlations between measures of abundance of APOBEC-like sequence motifs with drug sensitivity in small samples of cell lines from individual cancer categories, which require further validation in larger datasets. Molecular mechanisms underlying the links between the activities of the products of each of the five genes, the resulting mutagenic processes, and sensitivity to each category of antitumor agents require further investigation.

Kiss DL, Baez WD, Huebner K, et al.
Loss of fragile histidine triad (Fhit) protein expression alters the translation of cancer-associated mRNAs.
BMC Res Notes. 2018; 11(1):178 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: In > 50% of cancers tumor development involves the early loss of Fhit (fragile histidine triad) protein expression, yet the mechanistic pathway(s) by which Fhit mediates its tumor suppressor functions are not fully understood. Earlier attempts to identify a Fhit-deficient gene expression profile relied on total cellular RNA and microarray analysis. The data here used RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of Fhit-negative and Fhit-positive cells as proof of principle for the impact of Fhit on specific mRNAs, and to lay the foundation for a study using ribosome profiling to identify mRNAs whose translation is affected by FHIT loss.
DATA DESCRIPTION: RNA-Seq was performed on RNA from lines of Fhit-expressing and Fhit-deficient lung cancer cells. This identified changes in the levels of mRNAs for a number of cell survival and cell cycle progression genes. Polysome profile analysis performed on cytoplasmic extracts from Fhit-negative and Fhit-positive cells showed changes in the sedimentation of select mRNAs consistent with changes in translation efficiency. The impact of differential Fhit expression on the turnover of selected cancer-linked mRNAs was determined by RT-qPCR of cytoplasmic RNA isolated at intervals after treating cells with a transcription inhibitor.

Silveira Zavalhia L, Weber Medeiros A, Oliveira Silva A, Vial Roehe A
Do FHIT gene alterations play a role in human solid tumors?
Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018; 14(5):e214-e223 [PubMed] Related Publications
The fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene encloses an active common chromosomal fragile site, FRA3B. This gene is known to be associated with genomic instability, apoptosis and DNA damage. FHIT disturbances have been related to carcinogenesis in different types of human tumor. Despite this, there are some controversies about the exact role of the FHIT gene in relation to tumor biology. Several pieces of evidence support the hypothesis that FHIT acts as a tumor suppressor gene. A loss or decrease in the Fhit protein expression appears to be related to tumor progression, poor prognostic factors and lower survival rates. The most frequent causes of FHIT expression changes are gene mutations, epigenetic alteration and loss of heterozygosity. This literature review aims to clarify the involvement of the FHIT gene in carcinogenesis, tumor progression and clinical outcome in prevalent solid malignancies, such as breast, lung, cervical, esophageal, gastric and colorectal cancers.

Laco J, Kovarikova H, Chmelarova M, et al.
Analysis of DNA methylation and microRNA expression in NUT (nuclear protein in testis) midline carcinoma of the sinonasal tract: a clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(1):113-123 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was a detailed clinicopathological investigation of sinonasal NUT midline carcinoma (NMC), including analysis of DNA methylation and microRNA (miRNA) expression. Three (5%) cases of NMC were detected among 56 sinonasal carcinomas using immunohistochemical screening and confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The series comprised 2 males and 1 female, aged 46, 60, and 65 years. Two tumors arose in the nasal cavity and one in the maxillary sinus. The neoplasms were staged pT1, pT3, and pT4a (all cN0M0). All patients were treated by radical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy. Two patients died 3 and 8 months after operation, but one patient (pT1 stage; R0 resection) experienced no evidence of disease at 108 months. Microscopically, all tumors consisted of infiltrating nests of polygonal cells with vesicular nuclei, prominent nucleoli and basophilic cytoplasm. Abrupt keratinization was present in only one case. Immunohistochemically, there was a diffuse expression of cytokeratin (CK) cocktail, CK7, p40, p63, and SMARCB1/INI1. All NMCs tested negative for EBV and HPV infection. Two NMCs showed methylation of RASSF1 gene. All other genes (APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CADM1, CASP8, CD44, CDH13, CDKN1B, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CHFR, DAPK1, ESR1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, KLLN, MLH1a, MLH1b, RARB, TIMP3, and VHL) were unmethylated. All NMCs showed upregulation of miR-9 and downregulation of miR-99a and miR-145 and two cases featured also upregulation of miR-21, miR-143, and miR-484. In summary, we described three cases of sinonasal NMCs with novel findings on DNA methylation and miRNA expression, which might be important for new therapeutic strategies in the future.

Callahan CL, Bonner MR, Nie J, et al.
Lifetime exposure to ambient air pollution and methylation of tumor suppressor genes in breast tumors.
Environ Res. 2018; 161:418-424 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We previously reported increased risk of breast cancer associated with early life exposure to two measures of air pollution exposure, total suspended particulates (TSP) and traffic emissions (TE), possible proxies for exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Exposure to PAHs has been shown to be associated with aberrant patterns of DNA methylation in peripheral blood of healthy individuals. Exposure to PAHs and methylation in breast tumor tissue has received little attention. We examined the association of early life exposure to TSP and TE with patterns of DNA methylation in breast tumors.
METHODS: We conducted a study of women enrolled in the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study. Methylation of nine genes (SFN, SCGB3A1, RARB, GSTP1, CDKN2A CCND2, BRCA1, FHIT, and SYK) was assessed using bisulfite-based pyrosequencing. TSP exposure at each woman's home address at birth, menarche, and when she had her first child was estimated. TE exposure was modeled for each woman's residence at menarche, her first birth, and twenty and ten years prior to diagnosis. Unconditional logistic regression was employed to estimate odds ratios (OR) of having methylation greater than the median value, adjusting for age, secondhand smoke exposure before age 20, current smoking status, and estrogen receptor status.
RESULTS: Exposure to higher TSP at a woman's first birth was associated with lower methylation of SCGB3A1 (OR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.23-0.99) and higher methylation of SYK (OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.03-3.35). TE at menarche was associated with increased methylation of SYK (OR = 2.37, 95% CI: 1.05-5.33). TE at first birth and ten years prior to diagnosis was associated with decreased methylation of CCND2 (OR ten years prior to diagnosis=0.48, 95% CI: 0.26-0.89). Although these associations were nominally significant, none were significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: We observed suggestive evidence that exposure to ambient air pollution throughout life, measured as TSP and TE, may be associated with DNA methylation of some tumor suppressor genes in breast tumor tissue. Future studies with a larger sample size that assess methylation of more sites are warranted.

Cardoso MFS, Castelletti CHM, Lima-Filho JL, et al.
Putative biomarkers for cervical cancer: SNVs, methylation and expression profiles.
Mutat Res. 2017; 773:161-173 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is primarily caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, but other factors such as smoking habits, co-infections and genetic background, can also contribute to its development. Although this cancer is avoidable, it is the fourth most frequent type of cancer in females worldwide and can only be treated with chemotherapy and radical surgery. There is a need for biomarkers that will enable early diagnosis and targeted therapy for this type of cancer. Therefore, a systems biology pipeline was applied in order to identify potential biomarkers for cervical cancer, which show significant reports in three molecular aspects: DNA sequence variants, DNA methylation pattern and alterations in mRNA/protein expression levels. CDH1, CDKN2A, RB1 and TP53 genes were selected as putative biomarkers, being involved in metastasis, cell cycle regulation and tumour suppression. Other ten genes (CDH13, FHIT, PTEN, MLH1, TP73, CDKN1A, CACNA2D2, TERT, WIF1, APC) seemed to play a role in cervical cancer, but the lack of studies prevented their inclusion as possible biomarkers. Our results highlight the importance of these genes. However, further studies should be performed to elucidate the impact of DNA sequence variants and/or epigenetic deregulation and altered expression of these genes in cervical carcinogenesis and their potential as biomarkers for cervical cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

Anjanappa M, Hao Y, Simpson ER, et al.
A system for detecting high impact-low frequency mutations in primary tumors and metastases.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(2):185-196 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Tumor complexity and intratumor heterogeneity contribute to subclonal diversity. Despite advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics, detecting rare mutations in primary tumors and metastases contributing to subclonal diversity is a challenge for precision genomics. Here, in order to identify rare mutations, we adapted a recently described epithelial reprograming assay for short-term propagation of epithelial cells from primary and metastatic tumors. Using this approach, we expanded minor clones and obtained epithelial cell-specific DNA/RNA for quantitative NGS analysis. Comparative Ampliseq Comprehensive Cancer Panel sequence analyses were performed on DNA from unprocessed breast tumor and tumor cells propagated from the same tumor. We identified previously uncharacterized mutations present only in the cultured tumor cells, a subset of which has been reported in brain metastatic but not primary breast tumors. In addition, whole-genome sequencing identified mutations enriched in liver metastases of various cancers, including Notch pathway mutations/chromosomal inversions in 5/5 liver metastases, irrespective of cancer types. Mutations/rearrangements in FHIT, involved in purine metabolism, were detected in 4/5 liver metastases, and the same four liver metastases shared mutations in 32 genes, including mutations of different HLA-DR family members affecting OX40 signaling pathway, which could impact the immune response to metastatic cells. Pathway analyses of all mutated genes in liver metastases showed aberrant tumor necrosis factor and transforming growth factor signaling in metastatic cells. Epigenetic regulators including KMT2C/MLL3 and ARID1B, which are mutated in >50% of hepatocellular carcinomas, were also mutated in liver metastases. Thus, irrespective of cancer types, organ-specific metastases may share common genomic aberrations. Since recent studies show independent evolution of primary tumors and metastases and in most cases mutation burden is higher in metastases than primary tumors, the method described here may allow early detection of subclonal somatic alterations associated with metastatic progression and potentially identify therapeutically actionable, metastasis-specific genomic aberrations.

Son HY, Hwangbo Y, Yoo SK, et al.
Genome-wide association and expression quantitative trait loci studies identify multiple susceptibility loci for thyroid cancer.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:15966 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer in Korea. Several susceptibility loci of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) were identified by previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in Europeans only. Here we conducted a GWAS and a replication study in Koreans using a total of 1,085 DTC cases and 8,884 controls, and validated these results using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and clinical phenotypes. The most robust associations were observed in the NRG1 gene (rs6996585, P=1.08 × 10

Liu D, Peng H, Sun Q, et al.
The Indirect Efficacy Comparison of DNA Methylation in Sputum for Early Screening and Auxiliary Detection of Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; 14(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation in sputum has been an attractive candidate biomarker for the non-invasive screening and detection of lung cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Databases including PubMed, Ovid, Cochrane library, Web of Science databases, Chinese Biological Medicine (CBM), Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, Vip Databases and Google Scholar were searched to collect the diagnostic trials on aberrant DNA methylation in the screening and detection of lung cancer published until 1 December 2016. Indirect comparison meta-analysis was used to evaluate the diagnostic value of the included candidate genes.
RESULTS: The systematic literature search yielded a total of 33 studies including a total of 4801 subjects (2238 patients with lung cancer and 2563 controls) and covering 32 genes. We identified that methylated genes in sputum samples for the early screening and auxiliary detection of lung cancer yielded an overall sensitivity of 0.46 (0.41-0.50) and specificity of 0.83 (0.80-0.86). Combined indirect comparisons identified the superior gene of
CONCLUSIONS: The present meta-analysis demonstrates that methylated

Shu R, He J, Wu C, Gao J
The association between RARβ and FHIT promoter methylation and the carcinogenesis of patients with cervical carcinoma: A meta-analysis.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(6):1010428317709126 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RARβ and FHIT promoter methylation are observed in some cervical carcinoma. However, the association between RARβ and FHIT promoter methylation and cervical carcinogenesis remains unclear. This study was carried out to evaluate the correlation between RARβ or FHIT promoter methylation and cervical carcinogenesis. Eligible publications were searched via online databases. The combined odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were calculated and summarized. In all, 17 eligible articles on RARβ and FHIT promoter methylation were identified in the study. RARβ promoter methylation was significantly higher in cervical cancer than in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia lesions and normal cervical tissues (odds ratio = 3.90, p = 0.018; odds ratio = 12.98, p < 0.001, respectively). There was more FHIT promoter methylation in cervical cancer than in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia lesions and normal controls (odds ratio = 8.0, p = 0.055; odds ratio = 10.75, p < 0.001, respectively). In addition, FHIT promoter methylation was correlated with clinical stage (advanced stage vs early stage: odds ratio = 2.69, p = 0.056) and tumor grade (high grade vs low grade: odds ratio = 4.11, p < 0.001). RARβ and FHIT promoter methylation may be associated with the carcinogenesis of cervical cancer. FHIT promoter methylation may play a crucial role in cervical cancer progression. Additional studies with large sample sizes are essential to confirm our findings.

Agostini A, Brunetti M, Davidson B, et al.
Genomic imbalances are involved in miR-30c and let-7a deregulation in ovarian tumors: implications for HMGA2 expression.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(13):21554-21560 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
The High-mobility group AT-hook 2 protein (HMGA2) is involved in different processes during tumorigenesis. High expression levels of HMGA2 are found in various types of cancer, with recent studies highlighting the important role of miRNAs in the regulation of HMGA2 expression. We report a study of 155 ovarian tumors (30 sex-cord stromal tumors, 22 borderline tumors, and 103 carcinomas) analyzed for HMGA2 expression as well as the expression of two miRNAs targeting this gene, let-7a and miR-30c. We also evaluated the expression of the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) and lin28 homologues (LIN28A/B) genes which are known to be an enhancer of miR-30c expression and a repressor of let-7a, respectively. HMGA2 was found expressed at high levels in most samples analyzed, with clear cell carcinomas as the only exception. let-7a and miR-30c were highly deregulated in all tumor types. LIN28A and FHIT were found overexpressed in all examined tumor types. The chromosomal imbalances that might lead to loss of the genes expressing let-7a and miR-30c could be evaluated on the basis of previously generated karyotypic and high resolution comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) data on 103 tumors. 76% of the samples with an imbalanced genome had at least one chromosomal aberration leading to a deletion of a miRNA cluster for let-7a and miR-30c. FISH using locus specific probes for these clusters validate the aberrations at the gene level. Our study shows that genomic imbalances are involved in miR-30c and let-7a deregulation. One can reasonably assume that dysregulation of these miRNAs is a cause leading to HMGA2 upregulation in ovarian tumors.

Rasheed MA, Tariq F, Afzal S, Mannanv S
In silico analysis of fragile histidine triad involved in regression of carcinoma.
J Pak Med Assoc. 2017; 67(4):616-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCCa) is a primary malignancy of the liver. Many different proteins are involved in HCCa including insulin growth factor (IGF) II , signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) 3, STAT4, mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 4 (SMAD 4), fragile histidine triad (FHIT) and selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) etc. The present study is based on the bioinformatics analysis of FHIT protein in order to understand the proteomics aspect and improvement of the diagnosis of the disease based on the protein. Different information related to protein were gathered from different databases, including National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene, Protein and Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) databases, Uniprot database, String database and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Moreover, the structure of the protein and evaluation of the quality of the structure were included from Easy modeler programme. Hence, this analysis not only helped to gather information related to the protein at one place, but also analysed the structure and quality of the protein to conclude that the protein has a role in carcinoma.

Wang L, Shen H, Feng B, et al.
Reduction in the copy number and expression level of the recurrent human papillomavirus integration gene fragile histidine triad (FHIT) predicts the transition of cervical lesions.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(4):e0175520 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in females worldwide, especially in developing countries. High risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection causes cervical cancer and precancerous cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Integration of the HR-HPV genome into the host chromatin is an important step in cervical carcinogenesis. The detection of integrated papillomavirus sequences-PCR (DIPS-PCR) allowed us to explore HPV integration in the human genome and to determine the pattern of this integration. We performed DIPS-PCR for 4 cell lines including 3 cervical cancer cell lines and 40 tissue samples. Overall, 32 HR-HPV integration loci were detected in the clinical samples and the HeLa and SiHa cell lines. Among all the integration loci, we identified three recurrent integration loci: 3p14.2 (3 samples), 13q22.1 (2 samples and a SiHa cell line) and 8q24 (1 sample and a HeLa cell line). To further explore the effect of HR-HPV integration in the 3p14.2 locus, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to determine the copy number of the 3p14.2 locus and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to determine the protein expression levels of the related FHIT gene in the clinical samples. Both the 3p14.2 locus copy number and FHIT protein expression levels showed significant decreases when CIN transitioned to cervical cancer. HPV copy number was also evaluated in these clinical samples, and the copy number of HPV increased significantly between CIN and cervical cancer samples. Finally, we employed receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC curve) analysis to evaluate the potential of all these indexes in distinguishing CIN and cervical cancer, and the HPV copy number, FHIT copy number and FHIT protein expression levels have good diagnostic efficiencies.

Lee TG, Jeong EH, Kim SY, et al.
Fhit, a tumor suppressor protein, induces autophagy via 14-3-3τ in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(19):31923-31937 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Inactivation of the fragile histidine triad (Fhit) gene has been reported in the majority of human cancers, particularly in lung cancer. The role of Fhit as a tumor suppressor gene has been well documented, and restoration of Fhit expression suppresses tumorigenicity in tumor cell lines and in mouse models by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation of tumor cells. Autophagy is a catabolic pathway, whereby cytoplasmic proteins and organelles are sequestered in vacuoles and delivered to lysosomes for degradation and recycling. Although autophagy is necessary for cell survival under stress conditions, recent studies have shown that autophagy can also promote cell death. Due to the fact that both autophagy induction and Fhit expression are commonly associated with nutrient starvation, we hypothesized that Fhit expression may be related to autophagy induction. In the present study, we assessed whether Fhit overexpression by gene transfer induces autophagy in Fhit-deficient non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. The results of our study indicate that Fhit protein induces autophagy in NSCLC cells, and that this autophagy prevents apoptotic cell death in vivo and in vitro in a 14-3-3τ protein-dependent manner. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to describe Fhit-induced autophagy. Suppressing autophagy might be a promising therapeutic option to enhance the efficacy of Fhit gene therapy in NSCLC.

Karras JR, Schrock MS, Batar B, Huebner K
Fragile Genes That Are Frequently Altered in Cancer: Players Not Passengers.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2016; 150(3-4):208-216 [PubMed] Related Publications
FHIT, located at FRA3B, is one of the most commonly deleted genes in human cancers, and loss of FHIT protein is one of the earliest events in cancer initiation. However, location of FHIT at a chromosomal fragile site, a locus prone to breakage and gap formation under even mild replication stress, has encouraged claims that FHIT loss is a passenger event in cancers. We summarize accumulated evidence that FHIT protein functions as a genome "caretaker" required to protect the stability of genomes of normal cells of most tissues from agents causing intrinsic and extrinsic DNA damage. FHIT loss leads to intracellular replication stress and subsequent genome instability, which provides an opportunistic mutational landscape in preneoplasias for selection of a variety of other cancer-driving mutations. We also review evidence showing that FHIT loss leads to enhanced activation of other common fragile sites, including the FRA16D/WWOX locus, and creates optimal single-stranded DNA substrates for the hypermutator enzyme, APOBEC3B.

Laco J, Chmelařová M, Vošmiková H, et al.
SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma shows methylation of RASSF1 gene: A clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study of a recently described entity.
Pathol Res Pract. 2017; 213(2):133-142 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was detailed clinicopathological investigation of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinomas, including molecular genetic analysis of mutational status and DNA methylation of selected protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes by means of next generation sequencing (NGS) and methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA). A total of 4/56 (7%) cases of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient carcinomas were detected among 56 sinonasal carcinomas diagnosed over a 19year period using immunohistochemical screening. The series comprised 3 males and 1 female, aged 27-76 years (median 64 years). All tumors arose in the nasal cavity. Three neoplasms were diagnosed in advanced stage pT4. During the follow-up period (range 14-111 months (median 72 months)), three tumors recurred locally, but none of the patients developed regional or distant metastases. Ultimately, two patients died due to the tumor. Microscopically, all tumors consisted of infiltrating nests of polygonal basaloid cells with a variable component of rhabdoid cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm. Immunohistochemically, there was almost diffuse expression of cytokeratins (CK), p16, p40 and p63 in all cases, while expression of CK5/6, CK7 and vimentin was only focal or absent. The detection of NUT gave negative results. In three cases, the absence of SMARCB1/INI1 expression was due to deletion of SMARCB1/INI1 gene. Methylation of SMARCB1/INI1 gene was not found. One tumor harbored HPV18 E6/E7 mRNA. All 12 genes (BRAF, BRCA1, BRCA2, KIT, EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, PDGFRA, PIK3CA, PTEN, RET, and ROS1) tested for mutations using NGS were wild-type. Regarding DNA methylation, all four SMARCB1/INI1-deficient tumors showed methylation of RASSF1 gene by means of MS-MLPA. There was a statistically significant difference in RASSF1 gene methylation between SMARCB1/INI1-deficient and SMARCB1/INI1-positive tumors (p=0.0095). All other examined genes (ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CADM1, CASP8, CD44, CDKN1B, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CHFR, DAPK1, ESR1, FHIT, GSTP1, HIC1, KLLN, MLH1a, MLH1b, RARB, and VLH) were unmethylated. In summary, we described four cases of SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma with detailed clinicopathological data indicating that these tumors can be regarded as a distinct entity with aggressive behaviour. For the first time, we performed analysis of DNA methylation in SMARCB1/INI1-deficient sinonasal carcinomas, reporting on significantly higher methylation of RASSF1 gene in this neoplasm.

Geng X, Pu W, Tan Y, et al.
Quantitative assessment of the diagnostic role of FHIT promoter methylation in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(4):6845-6856 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Aberrant methylation of CpG islands acquired in promoter regions plays an important role in carcinogenesis. Accumulated evidence demonstrates FHIT gene promoter hyper-methylation is involved in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To test the diagnostic ability of FHIT methylation status on NSCLC, thirteen studies, including 2,119 samples were included in our meta-analysis. Simultaneously, four independent DNA methylation datasets from TCGA and GEO database were analyzed for validation. The pooled odds ratio of FHIT promoter methylation in cancer samples was 3.43 (95% CI: 1.85 to 6.36) compared with that in controls. In subgroup analysis, significant difference of FHIT gene promoter methylation status in NSCLC and controls was found in Asians but not in Caucasian population. In validation stage, 950 Caucasian samples, including 126 paired samples from TCGA, 568 cancer tissues and 256 normal controls from GEO database were analyzed, and all 8 CpG sites near the promoter region of FHIT gene were not significantly differentially methylated. Thus the diagnostic role of FHIT gene in the lung cancer may be relatively limited in the Caucasian population but useful in the Asians.

Agostini A, Brunetti M, Davidson B, et al.
Expressions of miR-30c and let-7a are inversely correlated with HMGA2 expression in squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(51):85058-85062 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/01/2020 Related Publications
Malignant tumors of the vulva, most of them squamous cell carcinomas, account for only 5% of cancers of the female genital tract. Though little is known about the genetic features of these tumors, the Fragile Histidine Triad (FHIT) and High Mobility Group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) genes were found deregulated. We wanted to gain more knowledge about the expression of HMGA2-related miRNAs such as miR-30c and let-7a, and whether a correlation exists between the expression of FHIT and HMGA2, in this tumor type. An inverse correlation was found in-as-much as HMGA2 was highly expressed (mean fold change 8.8) whereas miR30c and let-7a were both downregulated (mean fold change -3.9 and -2.3, respectively). The consistent overexpression of HMGA2 found in all tumors adds to the likelihood that this gene is of importance in SCC pathogenesis. Moreover, we came to the conclusion that miRNAs may be the cause of the deregulation of HMGA2. Our results also show that SCC of the vulva presents a characteristic molecular pattern with FHIT being downregulated whereas HMGA2 is upregulated.

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