Deletions of the long arm of chromosome 6 (6q) are one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities in multiple human malignancies. Previously, we have identified three commonly deleted regions on 6q (6q21, 6q23-q24, and 6q26) in pancreatic cancer by loss of heterozygosity studies, suggesting the presence of one or more tumor suppressor genes on this chromosome arm. Using a combination of database search and cDNA library screening, we successfully isolated a transcript from 6q24. This mRNA encodes a protein consisting of 543 amino acids with homology to the Drosophila headcase (hdc) gene and, thus, is designated as hHDC. Northern analysis identified a ubiquitously expressed 5.6-kb transcript. Seventeen (81%) of 21 pancreatic cancer cell lines and four (80%) of five renal cell carcinoma cell lines showed low level expression, suggesting that the hHDC gene may play an important role in some human cancers.
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