Diadenosines as FHIT-ness instructors



FHIT is a tumor suppressor gene that is frequently inactivated in human cancer. Although the Fhit protein is known to hydrolyze diadenosine triphosphate (Ap3A), this hydrolase activity is not required for Fhit-mediated oncosuppression. Indeed, the molecular mechanisms and the regulatory elements of Fhit oncosuppression are largely unknown. Here, we review physiological and pathological aspects of Fhit in the context of the ApnA family of signaling molecules, as well as the involvement of Fhit in apoptosis and the cell cycle in cancer models. We also discuss recent findings of novel Fhit interactions that may lead to new hypotheses about biochemical mechanisms underlying the oncosuppressor activity of this gene. J. Cell. Physiol. 208: 274–281, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.