Amplification of chromosome band 7q21 has been frequently detected in various types of cancer including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinomas. At present, no gene has been disclosed that can explain this frequent amplification of 7q21 in GEJ carcinomas. Therefore, a detailed genomic analysis of the 7q21 region was performed on a selected series of GEJ adenocarcinomas, i.e., 14 primary adenocarcinomas and 10 cell lines, by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) with a 7q11.22-q31.2 contig array. A distinct peak of amplification was identified at 92.1 Mb in 7q21.2, precisely comprising cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6), a gene involved in cell cycle regulation. A smaller peak was seen at 116.2 Mb in 7q31.2, the locus of the MET proto-oncogene. No distinct peak was detected for the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) at 81.3 Mb in 7q21.11. An immunoprofile of HGF, CDK6 and MET revealed a strong correlation between aCGH and immunohistochemical protein expression for CDK6 (P = 0.002). Furthermore, immunohistochemistry did not show expression of CDK6 in Barrett's dysplasia and carcinoma in situ, correlating expression of CDK6 with a malignant phenotype. We conclude that high-resolution genomic analysis and immunoprofiling identify CDK6 as the main candidate target for the recurrent amplification of 7q21 in GEJ adenocarcinomas.

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van Dekken, H., van Marion, R., Vissers, K.J., Hop, W.C.J., Dinjens, W.N.M., Tilanus, H.W., … van Duin, M.. (2008). Molecular dissection of the chromosome band 7q21 amplicon in gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas identifies cyclin-dependent kinase 6 at both genomic and protein expression levels. Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer, 47(8), 649–656. doi:10.1002/gcc.20570