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Oncology - Pediatrics and Child Health

Reduced mRNA and Protein Expression of the Genomic Caretaker RAD9A in Primary Fibroblasts of Individuals with Childhood and Independent Second Cancer
Published: Monday, October 03, 2011
Author: Eva Weis et al.

by Eva Weis, Holger Schoen, Anja Victor, Claudia Spix, Marco Ludwig, Brigitte Schneider-Raetzke, Nicolai Kohlschmidt, Oliver Bartsch, Aslihan Gerhold-Ay, Nils Boehm, Franz Grus, Thomas Haaf, Danuta Galetzka


The etiology of secondary cancer in childhood cancer survivors is largely unclear. Exposure of normal somatic cells to radiation and/or chemotherapy can damage DNA and if not all DNA lesions are properly fixed, the mis-repair may lead to pathological consequences. It is plausible to assume that genetic differences, i.e. in the pathways responsible for cell cycle control and DNA repair, play a critical role in the development of secondary cancer.


To identify factors that may influence the susceptibility for second cancer formation, we recruited 20 individuals who survived a childhood malignancy and then developed a second cancer as well as 20 carefully matched control individuals with childhood malignancy but without a second cancer. By antibody microarrays, we screened primary fibroblasts of matched patients for differences in the amount of representative DNA repair-associated proteins. We found constitutively decreased levels of RAD9A and several other DNA repair proteins in two-cancer patients, compared to one-cancer patients. The RAD9A protein level increased in response to DNA damage, however to a lesser extent in the two-cancer patients. Quantification of mRNA expression by real-time RT PCR revealed lower RAD9A mRNA levels in both untreated and 1 Gy ?-irradiated cells of two-cancer patients.


Collectively, our results support the idea that modulation of RAD9A and other cell cycle arrest and DNA repair proteins contribute to the risk of developing a second malignancy in childhood cancer patients.