WWOX is a gene that spans an extremely large chromosomal region. It is derived from within chromosomal band 16q23.2 which is a region with frequent deletions and other alterations in a variety of different cancers. This chromosomal band also contains the FRA16D common fragile site (CFS). CFSs are chromosomal regions found in all individuals which are highly unstable. WWOX has also been demonstrated to function as a tumor suppressor that is involved in the development of many cancers. Two other highly unstable CFSs, FRA3B (3p14.2) and FRA6E (6q26), also span extremely large genes, FHIT and PARK2, respectively, and these two genes are also found to be important tumor suppressors. There are a number of interesting similarities between these three large CFS genes. In spite of the fact that they are derived from some of the most unstable chromosomal regions in the genome, they are found to be highly evolutionarily conserved and the chromosomal region spanning the mouse homologs of both WWOX and FHIT are also CFSs in mice. Many of the other CFSs also span extremely large genes and many of these are very attractive tumor suppressor candidates. WWOX is therefore a member of a very interesting family of very large CFS genes.
- common fragile sites
- very large genes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)