BRG1 and LKB1: tales of two tumor suppressor genes on chromosome 19p and lung cancer.


PubMedID: 19176640

Rodriguez-Nieto S, Sanchez-Cespedes M. BRG1 and LKB1: tales of two tumor suppressor genes on chromosome 19p and lung cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2009;30(4):547-54.
Losses of heterozygosity (LOH) of the short arm of chromosome 19 are frequent in lung cancer, suggesting that one or more tumor suppressor genes are present in this region. The LKB1 gene, also called STK11, is somatically inactivated through point mutations and large deletions in lung tumors, demonstrating that LKB1 is a target of the LOH of this chromosomal arm. Data from several independent groups have provided information about the profiles of lung tumors with LKB1 inactivation and it is generally agreed that this alteration strongly predominates in non-small cell lung cancer, in particular adenocarcinomas, in smokers. The LKB1 protein has serine-threonine kinase activity and is involved in the regulation of the cell energetic checkpoint through the phosphorylation and activation of adenosine monophosphate-dependent kinase (AMPK). LKB1 is also involved in other processes such as cell polarization, probably through substrates other than AMPK. Interestingly, another gene on chromosome 19p, BRG1, encoding a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, has emerged as a tumor suppressor gene that is altered in lung tumors. Similar to LKB1, BRG1 is somatically inactivated by point mutations or large deletions in lung tumors featuring LOH of chromosome 19p. These observations suggest an important role for BRG1 in lung cancer and highlight the need to further our understanding of the function of Brahma/SWI2-related gene 1 (BRG1) in cancer. Finally, simultaneous mutations at LKB1 and BRG1 are common in lung cancer cells, which exemplifies how a single event, LOH of chromosome 19p in this instance, targets two different tumor suppressors.