We previously reported the identification of TUSC1 (Tumor Suppressor Candidate 1), as a novel intronless gene isolated from a region of homozygous deletion at D9S126 on chromosome 9p in human lung cancer. In this study, we examine the differential expression of TUSC1 in human lung cancer cell lines by western blot and in a primary human lung cancer tissue microarray by immunohistochemical analysis. We also tested the functional activities and mechanisms of TUSC1 as a tumor suppressor gene through growth suppression in vitro and in vivo. The results showed no expression of TUSC1 in TUSC1 homozygously deleted cells and diminished expression in some tumor cell lines without TUSC1 deletion. Interestingly, the results from a primary human lung cancer tissue microarray suggested that higher expression of TUSC1 was correlated with increased survival times for lung cancer patients. Our data demonstrated that growth curves of tumor cell lines transfected with TUSC1 grew slower in vitro than those transfected with the empty vector. More importantly, xenograph tumors in nude mice grew significantly slower in vivo in cells stably transfected with TUSC1 than those transfected with empty vector. In addition, results from confocal microscopy and immunohistochemical analyses show distribution of TUSC1 in the cytoplasm and nucleus in tumor cell lines and in normal and tumor cells in the lung cancer tissue microarray. Taken together, our results support TUSC1 has tumor suppressor activity as a candidate tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome 9p.
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