• Open Access

Detection of novel paraja ring finger 2-fer tyrosine kinase mRNA chimeras is associated with poor postoperative prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer



Previously, we reported that the overexpression of fer tyrosine kinase (FER), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is correlated with poor postoperative prognosis and cancer-cell survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we further analyzed FER-overexpressed NSCLC cases and identified various patterns of chimeric mRNAs, composed of paraja ring finger 2 (PJA2) and FER. We detected no genomic rearrangements between PJA2 and FER and attributed these chimeric mRNAs to alterations at the transcriptome level: i.e., trans-splicing. Several chimeric patterns were detected concurrently in each patient, and the pattern sets varied among patients, although the pattern in which PJA2 exon 1 was fused to FER exon 3 (designated as Pe1-Fe3 mRNA) was detected constantly. Therefore, in a wide screening for PJA2-FER mRNAs in NSCLC, we focused on this chimeric pattern as a representative chimera. In analyses of 167 NSCLC samples, Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was identified in about 10% of the patients, and the presence of chimeric mRNA was significantly correlated with a high expression level of parental FER mRNA. Furthermore, we found that the detection of Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was correlated with poor postoperative survival periods in NSCLC, consistent with a previous finding in which FER overexpression was correlated with poor postoperative prognosis in NSCLC. This report is the first to suggest a correlation between chimeric mRNA and the expression level of parental mRNA. Furthermore, our findings may be clinically beneficial, suggesting that PJA2-FER mRNAs might serve as a novel prognostic biomarker in NSCLC.