Isolation of a novel gene, TSP50, by a hypomethylated DNA fragment in human breast cancer

Liming Yuan, Jidong Shan, Dwight De Risi, John Broome, John Lovecchio, David Gal, Vincent Vinciguerra, Xu Hao-Peng

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55 Scopus citations


A novel gene, testes-specific protease 50 (TSP50), was isolated from a human testes cDNA library by using a genomic DNA probe, BR50. BR50 was isolated by a modified representational difference analysis (RDA) technique due to its hypomethylated feature in a breast cancer biopsy. This altered DNA methylation status was also detected by BR50 in other breast and some ovarian cancer tissues. The TSP50 gene product is a homologue to several human proteases, which indicates that it may encode a protease-like protein. Northern analysis of 16 different types of normal human tissues suggests that TSP50 was highly and specifically expressed in human testes, which indicates that it might possess a unique biological function(s) in that organ. Methylation status analysis in normal human testes and other tissues showed a correlation between DNA methylation and gene expression. Most importantly, reverse transcription-PCR analysis of 18 paired breast cancer tissues found that in 28% of the cancer samples, the TSP50 gene was differentially expressed. The possibility that TSP50 may be an oncogene is presently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3215-3221
Number of pages7
JournalCancer research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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