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Associations between polymorphisms in the thymidylate synthase gene, the expression of thymidylate synthase mRNA and the microsatellite instability phenotype of colorectal cancer



Associations between polymorphisms in the thymidylate synthase gene, the expression of thymidylate synthase mRNA and the microsatellite instability phenotype of colorectal cancer



Oncology Reports 11(4): 839-843



Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a characteristic feature of up to 15% of colorectal cancers (CRC) and is associated with better response to adjuvant chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). In this study we have investigated the association between the MSI status and the mRNA expression as well as the polymorphisms of the cellular target of 5-FU therapy, thymidylate synthase. Polymorphisms in the 3'- and the 5'-UTR of the TS gene were determined by a PCR assay in 53 colorectal cancer tissues. TS mRNA was quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Data were correlated with the MSI phenotype. There was neither a significant correlation between the polymorphisms in the TS gene and the MSI phenotype nor between the mRNA expression and MSI status. CRC with a 3R/3R or 2R/3R genotype showed a significantly higher TS mRNA expression than those with 2R/2R genotype (p=0.001 and p=0.026, respectively). No association was seen between the polymorphism of the 3'-UTR and mRNA expression. From our results, we conclude that there is no association between MSI status and TS expression. Samples containing the 3R/3R or 2R/3R genotype of TS seem to have higher mRNA levels perhaps due to a higher mRNA stability. Polymorphic variants of the 3'-UTR do not influence the TS mRNA level. Genotyping of the 5'-UTR and quantitation of TS mRNA levels might serve as predictors for the response to 5-FU based chemotherapy.

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Accession: 011787914

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PMID: 15010882


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