Two distinct regions of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in breast carcinomas were previously identified at chromosome 11q23. With the aim of identifying a tumor suppressor gene, we undertook the isolation and characterization of genes within LOH region 2, defined between loci D11S1345 and D11S1316, which spans an area of about 1 Mb. Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of a new gene, ZNF202. The gene, which spans a genomic area of approximately 10 kb, is almost exclusively expressed in testis as a 4-kb mRNA. The predicted amino acid sequence of the protein product revealed significant homologies with zinc finger proteins, indicating that the ANF202 protein may function as a transcription factor. The presence of multiple CK2 and PKC phosphorylation sites suggests that its activity may be regulated by phosphorylation. The gene is also expressed in breast carcinoma cell lines. However, mutation analysis of 39 breast cancer samples revealed no evidence of mutations, indicating that ZNF202 is unlikely to be involved in the pathogenesis of this neoplasm. Nevertheless, a role for ZNF202 in the tumorigenic process of other tissues cannot be excluded.
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