gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Identification and functional characterization of the tumor suppressor gene ST18 on human chromosome 8Q11 implicated in the development of breast cancer

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Burkhard Jandrig - Max-Delbrück-Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Deutschland
  • Anette Rejman Lipinski - Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin
  • Bernd Hinzmann - Signature Diagnostics AG, Potsdam
  • Susanne Seitz - Max-Delbrück-Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
  • Wolfgang Arnold - atugen AG, Berlin
  • Burkhard Micheel - Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam
  • Konrad Koelble - Institute of Pathology, Charite Hospital, Berlin
  • Peter M. Schlag - Clinic of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Robert Roessle Hospital, Berlin
  • Siegfried Scherneck - Max-Delbrück-Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin
  • Andre Rosenthal - Signature Diagnostics AG, Potsdam

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPE084

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Jandrig et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of markers on human chromosome 8 is frequently found in a variety of human neoplasias including breast carcinomas indicating the presence of one or more tumor suppressor genes (TSG). By deletion mapping using microsatellite markers covering the whole human chromosome 8 a homozygous deletion in a breast tumor of one patient was observed. Following a positional cloning strategy we have identified the gene ST18 (for suppression of tumorigenicity 18, breast carcinoma, zinc finger protein), within a region of chromosome 8q11 around the marker D8S1110. The gene encodes a zinc finger DNA binding protein with 6 fingers of the C2HC type. The gene product is located in the cell nucleus as shown by GFP-ST18 fusion proteins as well as antibodies against a synthetic peptide. ST18 has the potential to act as transcriptional regulator. ST18 is expressed in a number of normal tissues including mammary epithelial cells although the level of expression is quite low. In tumor cells we detected aberrantly spliced ST18 transcripts. In breast cancer cell lines and the majority of primary breast tumors ST18 mRNA is significantly downregulated. The strong correlation between ST18 promoter hypermethylation and loss of ST18 expression in the tumor cells suggests that this epigenetic mechanism is responsible for tumor specific downregulation of ST18 expression. In addition, luciferase assays with deletion mutants of the promoter region revealed regions that show much higher luciferase activity in normal cells in comparison to tumorigenic cells. We further show that ectopic ST18 expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells strongly inhibits colony formation in soft agar and the formation of tumors in a xenograft mouse model. Our results suggest that ST18 is a breast cancer tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome 8q11. The study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Sche373/4-1