Recently, several studies have suggested that a major mechanism of resistance to paclitaxel might involve mutations in the β-tubulin gene in tumor cells. To investigate the frequency of β-tubulin mutations in Japanese patients with small and non-small cell lung cancer, direct sequence analysis following reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of the β-tubulin gene was performed using total RNA from 20 lung cancer cell lines and 22 specimens from lung cancer patients. First-strand cDNA sequence analysis of the 42 samples showed silent mutations at codon 180 of the β-tubulin gene, which encodes the GTP-binding site of the protein, and codons 195 and 217. However, neither missense nor non-sense mutations affecting microtubule dynamics, within or near the GTP-binding site of the β-tubulin gene, were detected. These results indicate that β-tubulin gene mutations might not play a major role in the mechanism of resistance to paclitaxel in Japanese lung cancer patients. Further investigations are needed to clarify the mechanism of drug resistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research