The most common mechanism underlying overexpression and activation of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in non–small-cell lung carcinoma could be attributed to the formation of a fusion protein. To date, five fusion partners of ALK have been reported, namely, echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4, tropomyosin-related kinase-fused gene, kinesin family member 5B, kinesin light chain 1, and protein tyrosine phosphatase, nonreceptor type 3.
In this article, we report a novel fusion gene huntingtin interacting protein 1 (HIP1)–ALK, which is conjoined between the huntingtin-interacting protein 1 gene HIP1 and ALK. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analysis were used to detect this fusion gene’s transcript and protein expression, respectively. We had amplified the full-length cDNA sequence of this novel fusion gene by using 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The causative genomic translocation t(2;7)(p23;q11.23) for generating this novel fusion gene was verified by using genomic sequencing.
The examined adenocarcinoma showed predominant acinar pattern, and ALK immunostaining was localized to the cytoplasm, with intense staining in the submembrane region. In break-apart, fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis for ALK, split of the 5' and 3' probe signals, and isolated 3' signals were observed. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction revealed that the tumor harbored a novel fusion transcript in which exon 21 of HIP1 was fused to exon 20 of ALK in-frame.
The novel fusion gene and its protein HIP1–ALK harboring epsin N-terminal homology, coiled-coil, juxtamembrane, and kinase domains, which could play a role in carcinogenesis, could become diagnostic and therapeutic target of the lung adenocarcinoma and deserve a further study in the future.