Raf kinase inhibitor protein: Mechanism of loss of expression and association with genomic instability

Fahd Al-Mulla, S. Hagan, W. Al-Ali, Sindhu Jacob, A. I. Behbehani, Milad Sami Bitar, A. Dallol, W. Kolch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP; also known as PEBP, for phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein) is an endogenous inhibitor of the Raf- MAPK kinase (MEK)-MAP kinase pathway. It has emerged as a significant metastasis suppressor in a variety of human cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC) and was recently shown to regulate the spindle checkpoint in cultured cells. This study aims at correlating RKIP expression with chromosomal instability in colorectal cancer samples and identifies possible mechanisms of RKIP loss. Methods: Chromosomal instability was assessed using metaphase-based comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 65 cases with microsatellite stable CRC and correlated with RKIP expression. Methyl-specific PCR was used on DNA extracted from 82 cases with CRC to determine CpG methylation status at the RKIP promoter and the results correlated with RKIP protein expression. Results: We demonstrate for the first time that in microsatellite stable (MSS) CRC, the number of chromosomal losses is inversely proportional to RKIP expression levels. We also show that methylation of the RKIP promoter is a major mechanism by which RKIP expression is silenced in CRC. Conclusions: RKIP loss by hypermethylation of its promoter could have a significant influence on colorectal cancer aneuploidy, which might explain its association with metastatic progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-529
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


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