Expression of int-2 oncogene in Kaposi's sarcoma lesions.
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), such as basic FGF, have been implicated in the growth of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) cells in vitro. In the evaluation of the expression of the various genes of the different members of the FGF family and their receptors in fresh KS tissue specimens, int-2 was found to be expressed in more than half of the KS tumors examined. Using reverse transcription PCR, the expression of int-2 was detected in 21 of 38 (55.2%) fresh KS biopsy specimens. In contrast, int-2 mRNA transcripts were not found in normal appearing skin from the same patients except in one sample which was obtained from an AIDS patient with disseminated KS lesions. Sequence data confirmed that the amplified sequences were derived from int-2 mRNA with proper splicing. In addition, 12 nucleic acid alterations were identified in eight out of nine KS tumor samples sequenced. Using immunohistochemical methods, int-2 protein was detected in some of the spindle-shaped tumor cells surrounding the abnormal endothelial-lined vascular slits histologically characteristic of KS. Int-2 specific immunostaining was shown to be present in both the nuclei and cytoplasm of these spindle cells but was more pronounced in the nuclei. Neither amplification nor gross rearrangement of the int-2 gene was detected in KS lesions by Southern blot analysis. These results suggest that the expression of int-2 may play a role in the pathogenesis KS by stimulating local angiogenesis and cell proliferation.
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