This gene, a member of the histidine triad gene family, encodes a diadenosine P1,P3-bis(5'-adenosyl)-triphosphate adenylohydrolase involved in purine metabolism. The gene encompasses the common fragile site FRA3B on chromosome 3, where carcinogen-induced damage can lead to translocations and aberrant transcripts of this gene. In fact, aberrant transcripts from this gene have been found in about half of all esophageal, stomach, and colon carcinomas.
Though the exact molecular function of FHIT is still partially unclear, the gene works as a tumor suppressor as it has been demonstrated in animal studies. Furthermore FHIT has been shown to synergize with VHL, another tumor suppressor, in protecting against chemically - induced lung cancer.
FHIT also acts as a tumor suppressor of HER2/neu driven breast cancer.
^Ohta M, Inoue H, Cotticelli MG, Kastury K, Baffa R, Palazzo J, Siprashvili Z, Mori M, McCue P, Druck T, Croce CM, Huebner K (Apr 1996). "The FHIT gene, spanning the chromosome 3p14.2 fragile site and renal carcinoma-associated t(3;8) breakpoint, is abnormal in digestive tract cancers". Cell. 84 (4): 587–97. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81034-X. PMID8598045.
^Zanesi N, Pekarsky Y, Croce CM (December 2005). "A mouse model of the fragile gene FHIT: From carcinogenesis to gene therapy and cancer prevention". Mutat. Res. 591 (1-2): 103–9. doi:10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2005.05.016. PMID16085127.
^Zanesi N, Mancini R, Sevignani C, Vecchione A, Kaou M, Valtieri M, Calin GA, Pekarsky Y, Gnarra JR, Croce CM, Huebner K (August 2005). "Lung cancer susceptibility in Fhit-deficient mice is increased by Vhl haploinsufficiency". Cancer Res. 65 (15): 6576–82. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1128. PMID16061637.
^Bianchi F, Tagliabue E, Ménard S, Campiglio M (March 2007). "Fhit expression protects against HER2-driven breast tumor development: unraveling the molecular interconnections". Cell Cycle. 6 (6): 643–6. doi:10.4161/cc.6.6.4033. PMID17374991.