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1.  Epigenetic inactivation of ST6GAL1 in human bladder cancer 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):901.
Background
Posttranslational protein modifications are known to modulate key biological processes like proliferation and apoptosis. Accumulating evidence shows that ST6GAL1, an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of sialic acid onto galactose-containing substrates, is aberrantly expressed in various cancers and may affect cell motility and invasion. This is the first study to describe ST6GAL1 expression and regulation in human bladder cancer.
Methods
ST6GAL1 mRNA expression levels in human cell lines (UROtsa, RT4, RT112 and J82) and tissue samples (n = 15 normal urothelium (NU), n = 13 papillary non-invasive tumors (pTa), n = 12 carcinoma in situ (CIS), n = 26 muscle invasive tumors (pT2-4)) were assessed using real-time PCR. In addition, ST6GAL1 protein expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry. Promoter methylation analysis was performed using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) in cell lines (n = 4) and patient samples (n = 23 NU, n = 12 CIS, n = 29 pTa, n = 41 pT2-4). Epigenetic ST6GAL1 gene silencing was confirmed by in vitro demethylation of bladder cell lines. Data were validated by analysis of an independent bladder tumor data set (n = 184) based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) portal.
Results
Semi-quantitative ST6GAL1 real-time PCR expression analysis showed two distinct trends: In muscle-invasive tumors ST6GAL1 expression was downregulation by 2.7-fold, while papillary non-invasive tumors showed an increased ST6GAL1 mRNA expression compared to normal urothelium. ST6GAL1 loss in muscle-invasive tumors was associated with increasing invasiveness. On the protein level, 69.2% (n = 45/65) of all tumors showed a weak ST6GAL1 protein staining (IRS ≤ 4) while 25.6% (16/65) exhibited a complete loss (IRS = 0) of ST6GAL1 protein. Tumor-specific DNA methylation of the ST6GAL1 promoter region was frequently found in pT2-4 tumors (53.6% (22/41)), whereas only 13.8% (4/29) of pTa tumors showed ST6GAL1 promoter methylation. Normal urothelium remained unmethylated. Importantly, we significantly revealed an inverse correlation between ST6GAL1 mRNA expression and ST6GAL1 promoter merthylation in primary bladder cancer. These findings were clearly verified by the TCGA public data set and in vitro demethylation assays functionally confirmed ST6GAL1 promoter methylation as a potential regulatory factor for ST6GAL1 gene silencing.
Conclusions
Our study characterizes for the first time ST6GAL1 expression loss caused by aberrant ST6GAL1 promoter methylation potentially indicating a tumor suppressive role in bladder carcinogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-901) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-901
PMCID: PMC4265431  PMID: 25465919
ST6GAL1; Bladder cancer; DNA methylation; Tumor suppressor
2.  Overexpression of SERBP1 (Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 RNA binding protein) in human breast cancer is correlated with favourable prognosis 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:597.
Background
Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) overexpression is an important prognostic and predictive biomarker in human breast cancer. SERBP1, a protein that is supposed to regulate the stability of PAI-1 mRNA, may play a role in gynaecological cancers as well, since upregulation of SERBP1 was described in ovarian cancer recently. This is the first study to present a systematic characterisation of SERBP1 expression in human breast cancer and normal breast tissue at both the mRNA and the protein level.
Methods
Using semiquantitative realtime PCR we analysed SERBP1 expression in different normal human tissues (n = 25), and in matched pairs of normal (n = 7) and cancerous breast tissues (n = 7). SERBP1 protein expression was analysed in two independent cohorts on tissue microarrays (TMAs), an initial evaluation set, consisting of 193 breast carcinomas and 48 normal breast tissues, and a second large validation set, consisting of 605 breast carcinomas. In addition, a collection of benign (n = 2) and malignant (n = 6) mammary cell lines as well as breast carcinoma lysates (n = 16) were investigated for SERBP1 expression by Western blot analysis. Furthermore, applying non-radioisotopic in situ hybridisation a subset of normal (n = 10) and cancerous (n = 10) breast tissue specimens from the initial TMA were analysed for SERBP1 mRNA expression.
Results
SERBP1 is not differentially expressed in breast carcinoma compared to normal breast tissue, both at the RNA and protein level. However, recurrence-free survival analysis showed a significant correlation (P = 0.008) between abundant SERBP1 expression in breast carcinoma and favourable prognosis. Interestingly, overall survival analysis also displayed a tendency (P = 0.09) towards favourable prognosis when SERBP1 was overexpressed in breast cancer.
Conclusions
The RNA-binding protein SERBP1 is abundantly expressed in human breast cancer and may represent a novel breast tumour marker with prognostic significance. Its potential involvement in the plasminogen activator protease cascade warrants further investigation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-597
PMCID: PMC3538721  PMID: 23236990
SERBP1; uPA/PAI-1; Gene expression; Breast cancer; Prognostic marker
3.  Nuclear detection of Y-box protein-1 (YB-1) closely associates with progesterone receptor negativity and is a strong adverse survival factor in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:410.
Background
Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is the prototypic member of the cold shock protein family that fulfills numerous cellular functions. In the nucleus YB-1 protein orchestrates transcription of proliferation-related genes, whereas in the cytoplasm it associates with mRNA and directs translation. In human tumor entities, such as breast, lung and prostate cancer, cellular YB-1 expression indicates poor clinical outcome, suggesting that YB-1 is an attractive marker to predict patients' prognosis and, potentially, is suitable to individualize treatment protocols. Given these predictive qualities of YB-1 detection we sought to establish a highly specific monoclonal antibody (Mab) for diagnostic testing and its characterization towards outcome prediction (relapse-free and overall survival).
Methods
Hybridoma cell generation was carried out with recombinant YB-1 protein as immunogen and Mab characterization was performed using immunoblotting and ELISA with recombinant and tagged YB-1 proteins, as well as immunohistochemistry of healthy and breast cancer specimens. Breast tumor tissue array staining results were analyzed for correlations with receptor expression and outcome parameters.
Results
YB-1-specific Mab F-E2G5 associates with conformational binding epitopes mapping to two domains within the N-terminal half of the protein and detects nuclear YB-1 protein by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded breast cancer tissues. Prognostic evaluation of Mab F-E2G5 was performed by immunohistochemistry of a human breast cancer tissue microarray comprising 179 invasive breast cancers, 8 ductal carcinoma in situ and 37 normal breast tissue samples. Nuclear YB-1 detection in human breast cancer cells was associated with poor overall survival (p = 0.0046). We observed a close correlation between nuclear YB-1 detection and absence of progesterone receptor expression (p = 0.002), indicating that nuclear YB-1 detection marks a specific subgroup of breast cancer. Likely due to limitation of sample size Cox regression models failed to demonstrate significance for nuclear YB-1 detection as independent prognostic marker.
Conclusion
Monoclonal YB-1 antibody F-E2G5 should be of great value for prospective studies to validate YB-1 as a novel biomarker suitable to optimize breast cancer treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-410
PMCID: PMC2788584  PMID: 19930682
4.  Expression of the glioma-associated oncogene homolog (GLI) 1 in human breast cancer is associated with unfavourable overall survival 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:298.
Background
The transcription factor GLI1, a member of the GLI subfamily of Krüppel-like zinc finger proteins is involved in signal transduction within the hedgehog pathway. Aberrant hedgehog signalling has been implicated in the development of different human tumour entities such as colon and lung cancer and increased GLI1 expression has been found in these tumour entities as well. In this study we questioned whether GLI1 expression might also be important in human breast cancer development. Furthermore we correlated GLI1 expression with histopathological and clinical data to evaluate whether GLI1 could represent a new prognostic marker in breast cancer treatment.
Methods
Applying semiquantitative realtime PCR analysis and immunohistochemistry (IHC) GLI1 expression was analysed in human invasive breast carcinomas (n = 229) in comparison to normal human breast tissues (n = 58). GLI1 mRNA expression was furthermore analysed in a set of normal (n = 3) and tumourous breast cell lines (n = 8). IHC data were statistically interpreted using SPSS version 14.0.
Results
Initial analysis of GLI1 mRNA expression in a small cohort of (n = 5) human matched normal and tumourous breast tissues showed first tendency towards GLI1 overexpression in human breast cancers. However only a small sample number was included into these analyses and values for GLI1 overexpression were statistically not significant (P = 0.251, two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test). On protein level, nuclear GLI1 expression in breast cancer cells was clearly more abundant than in normal breast epithelial cells (P = 0.008, two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test) and increased expression of GLI1 protein in breast tumours significantly correlated with unfavourable overall survival (P = 0.019), but also with higher tumour stage (P < 0.001) and an increased number of tumour-positive axillar lymph nodes (P = 0.027). Interestingly, a highly significant correlation was found between GLI1 expression and the expression of SHH, a central upstream molecule of the hedgehog pathway that was previously analysed on the same tissue microarray.
Conclusion
Our study presents a systematic expression analysis of GLI1 in human breast cancer. Elevated levels of GLI1 protein in human breast cancer are associated with unfavourable prognosis and progressive stages of disease. Thus GLI1 protein expression measured e.g. by an IHC based scoring system might have an implication in future multi-marker panels for human breast cancer prognosis or molecular sub typing. The highly significant correlation between SHH and GLI1 expression characterises GLI1 as a potential functional downstream target of the hedgehog signalling pathway in human breast cancer as well. Furthermore, our study indicates that altered hedgehog signalling may represent a key disease pathway in the progression of human breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-298
PMCID: PMC2753634  PMID: 19706168
5.  Dual role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:230.
Background
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine and mediator of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. MIF is overexpressed in various tumours and has been suggested as a molecular link between chronic inflammation and cancer. MIF overexpression is observed in breast cancer but its causal role in the development of this tumour entity is unclear.
Methods
MIF levels in breast cancer cell lines were determined by ELISA and Western blot. CD74 was measured by Western blot, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Cell proliferation was studied by BrdU incorporation, cell adhesion by Matrigel adhesion assay, and cell invasion by migration assay through Matrigel-coated filters using the Transwell system. MIF expression in primary human breast cancers was measured by tissue microarray and a semi-quantitative immunoreactivity score (IRS) and comparison with histopathological parameters and patient outcome data.
Results
MIF was abundantly expressed in the non-invasive breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-468 and ZR-75-1, but not in invasive MDA-MB-231 cells, which in turn expressed higher levels of the MIF-receptor CD74. Stimulation with exogenous MIF led to a dramatic upregulation of MIF secretion (50-fold) in MDA-MB-231 cells. Autocrine MIF promoted tumour cell proliferation, as indicated by blockade of MIF or CD74 in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468, and MDA-MB-231 invasiveness was enhanced by exogenous MIF. We correlated the expression of MIF with histopathological parameters and patient outcome data, using a tissue microarray of 175 primary invasive breast cancers and 35 normal control tissues. MIF was upregulated in breast cancer versus normal tissue (median IRS = 8 versus 6). MIF expression showed positive correlations with progesterone (p = 0.006) and estrogen (p = 0.028) receptor expression, markers of a favourable prognosis and a negative correlation to tumour size (p = 0.007). In line with these data, disease-specific overall (OS) as well as recurrence-free (RFS) survival was significantly improved in breast cancer patients with abundant cytosolic MIF expression compared to MIF low expressers (5-year OS = 67% versus 50%, p = 0.0019; 5-year RFS = 52% versus 36%, p = 0.0327).
Conclusion
We conclude that intracellular expression of MIF in breast cancer cells is beneficial, whereas extracellular MIF may play a pro-oncogenic role in promoting breast cancer cell-stroma interactions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-230
PMCID: PMC2716369  PMID: 19602265
6.  Prognostic relevance of Wnt-inhibitory factor-1 (WIF1) and Dickkopf-3 (DKK3) promoter methylation in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:217.
Background
Secreted Wnt signaling antagonists have recently been described as frequent targets of epigenetic inactivation in human tumor entities. Since gene silencing of certain Wnt antagonists was found to be correlated with adverse patient survival in cancer, we aimed at investigating a potential prognostic impact of the two Wnt antagonizing molecules WIF1 and DKK3 in breast cancer, which are frequently silenced by promoter methylation in this disease.
Methods
WIF1 and DKK3 promoter methylation were assessed by methylation-specific PCR with bisulfite-converted DNA from 19 normal breast tissues and 150 primary breast carcinomas. Promoter methylation was interpreted in a qualitative, binary fashion. Statistical evaluations included two-sided Fisher's exact tests, univariate log-rank tests of Kaplan-Meier curves as well as multivariate Cox regression analyses.
Results
WIF1 and DKK3 promoter methylation were detected in 63.3% (95/150) and 61.3% (92/150) of breast carcinoma samples, respectively. In normal breast tissues, WIF1 methylation was present in 0% (0/19) and DKK3 methylation in 5.3% (1/19) of samples. In breast carcinomas, WIF1 methylation was significantly associated with methylation of DKK3 (p = 0.009). Methylation of either gene was not associated with clinicopathological parameters, except for DKK3 methylation being associated with patient age (p = 0.007). In univariate analysis, WIF1 methylation was not associated with clinical patient outcome. In contrast, DKK3 methylation was a prognostic factor in patient overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Estimated OS rates after 10 years were 54% for patients with DKK3-methylated tumors, in contrast to patients without DKK3 methylation in the tumor, who had a favorable 97% OS after 10 years (p < 0.001). Likewise, DFS at 10 years for patients harboring DKK3 methylation in the tumor was 58%, compared with 78% for patients with unmethylated DKK3 (p = 0.037). Multivariate analyses revealed that DKK3 methylation was an independent prognostic factor predicting poor OS (hazard ratio (HR): 14.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.9–111.6; p = 0.011), and short DFS (HR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.0–6.0; p = 0.047) in breast cancer.
Conclusion
Although the Wnt antagonist genes WIF1 and DKK3 show a very similar frequency of promoter methylation in human breast cancer, only DKK3 methylation proves as a novel prognostic marker potentially useful in the clinical management of this disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-217
PMCID: PMC2717119  PMID: 19570204
7.  Production and characterisation of monoclonal antibodies against RAI3 and its expression in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:200.
Background
RAI3 is an orphan G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that has been associated with malignancy and may play a role in the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Although its exact function in normal and malignant cells remains unclear and evidence supporting its role in oncogenesis is controversial, its abundant expression on the surface of cancer cells would make it an interesting target for the development of antibody-based therapeutics. To investigate the link with cancer and provide more evidence for its role, we carried out a systematic analysis of RAI3 expression in a large set of human breast cancer specimens.
Methods
We expressed recombinant human RAI3 in bacteria and reconstituted the purified protein in liposomes to raise monoclonal antibodies using classical hybridoma techniques. The specific binding activity of the antibodies was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), western blot and immunocytochemistry. We carried out a systematic immunohistochemical analysis of RAI3 expression in human invasive breast carcinomas (n = 147) and normal breast tissues (n = 44) using a tissue microarray. In addition, a cDNA dot blot hybridisation assay was used to investigate a set of matched normal and cancerous breast tissue specimens (n = 50) as well as lymph node metastases (n = 3) for RAI3 mRNA expression.
Results
The anti-RAI3 monoclonal antibodies bound to recombinant human RAI3 protein with high specificity and affinity, as shown by ELISA, western blot and ICC. The cDNA dot blot and immunohistochemical experiments showed that both RAI3 mRNA and RAI3 protein were abundantly expressed in human breast carcinoma. However, there was no association between RAI3 protein expression and prognosis based on overall and recurrence-free survival.
Conclusion
We have generated a novel, highly-specific monoclonal antibody that detects RAI3 in formaldehyde-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. This is the first study to report a systematic analysis of RAI3 expression in normal and cancerous human breast tissue at both the mRNA and protein levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-200
PMCID: PMC2711971  PMID: 19552806
8.  Promoter methylation-associated loss of ID4 expression is a marker of tumour recurrence in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:154.
Background
Inhibitor of DNA binding/Inhibitor of differentiation 4 (ID4) is a critical factor for cell proliferation and differentiation in normal vertebrate development. ID4 has regulative functions for differentiation and growth of the developing brain. The role of ID1, ID2 and ID3 are expected to be oncogenic due to their overexpression in pancreatic cancer and colorectal adenocarcinomas, respectively. Aside from these findings, loss of ID3 expression was demonstrated in ovarian cancer. The aim of the present study was to reveal the factual role of ID4 in carcinogenesis in more detail, since its role for the pathogenesis of human breast cancer has been discussed controversially, assigning both oncogenic and tumour suppressive functions.
Methods
ID4 promoter methylation, ID4 mRNA expression and ID4 protein expression were analysed in primary human breast cancer specimens using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) (n=170), semiquantitative realtime RT-PCR (n=46) and immunhistochemistry (n=3), respectively. In order to demonstrate a functional association of ID4 promoter methylation with its gene silencing, we performed DNA demethylation analysis with four human breast cell lines using MSP and semiquantitative realtime RT-PCR. In addition, we performed correlations of ID4 promoter methylation with ID4 mRNA and ID4 protein expression in matched samples of breast tumour and corresponding normal tissue. We carried out statistical analyses in order to find correlations between ID4 promoter methylation and clinicopathological parameters.
Results
Frequent ID4 promoter methylation was observed in primary breast cancer samples (69%, 117/170). We found a tight correlation (P<0.0001) between ID4 promoter methylation and loss of ID4 expression in primary breast cancer 3 specimens. Demethylating treatment with breast cancer cell lines was associated with clear ID4 mRNA re-expression. Tumours with ID4 promoter methylation showed distinct loss of ID4 expression on both transcription and protein level. Interestingly, ID4 promoter methylation was a factor for unfavourable recurrence-free survival (P=0.036) and increased risk for lymph node metastasis (P=0.030).
Conclusion
ID4 is indeed a novel tumour suppressor gene in normal human breast tissue and is epigenetically silenced during cancer development, indicating increased risk for tumour relapse. Thus, ID4 methylation status could serve as a prognostic biomarker in human breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-154
PMCID: PMC2435120  PMID: 18513385
9.  Enhancer of the rudimentary gene homologue (ERH) expression pattern in sporadic human breast cancer and normal breast tissue 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:145.
Background
The human gene ERH (Enhancer of the Rudimentary gene Homologue) has previously been identified by in silico analysis of four million ESTs as a gene differentially expressed in breast cancer. The biological function of ERH protein has not been fully elucidated, however functions in cell cycle progression, pyrimidine metabolism a possible interaction with p21(Cip1/Waf1) via the Ciz1 zinc finger protein have been suggested. The aim of the present study was a systematic characterization of ERH expression in human breast cancer in order to evaluate possible clinical applications of this molecule.
Methods
The expression pattern of ERH was analyzed using multiple tissue northern blots (MTN) on a panel of 16 normal human tissues and two sets of malignant/normal breast and ovarian tissue samples. ERH expression was further analyzed in breast cancer and normal breast tissues and in tumorigenic as well as non-tumorigenic breast cancer cell lines, using quantitative RT-PCR and non-radioisotopic in situ hybridization (ISH).
Results
Among normal human tissues, ERH expression was most abundant in testis, heart, ovary, prostate, and liver. In the two MTN sets of malignant/normal breast and ovarian tissue,ERH was clearly more abundantly expressed in all tumours than in normal tissue samples. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed that ERH expression was significantly more abundant in tumorigenic than in non-tumorigenic breast cancer cell lines (4.5-fold; p = 0.05, two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test); the same trend was noted in a set of 25 primary invasive breast cancers and 16 normal breast tissue samples (2.5-fold; p = 0.1). These findings were further confirmed by non-radioisotopic ISH in human breast cancer and normal breast tissue.
Conclusion
ERH expression is clearly up-regulated in malignant as compared with benign breast cells both in primary human breast cancer and in cell models of breast cancer. Since similar results were obtained for ovarian cancer, ERH overexpression may be implicated in the initiation and/or progression of certain human malignancies. Further studies on large breast cancer tissue cohorts should determine whether ERH could function as a prognostic factor or even a drug target in the treatment of human breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-145
PMCID: PMC2426700  PMID: 18500978
10.  Tight correlation between expression of the Forkhead transcription factor FOXM1 and HER2 in human breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:42.
Background
FOXM1 regulates expression of cell cycle related genes that are essential for progression into DNA replication and mitosis. Consistent with its role in proliferation, elevated expression of FOXM1 has been reported in a variety of human tumour entities. FOXM1 is a gene of interest because recently chemical inhibitors of FOXM1 were described to limit proliferation and induce apoptosis in cancer cells in vitro, indicating that FOXM1 inhibitors could represent useful anticancer therapeutics.
Methods
Using immunohistochemistry (IHC) we systematically analysed FOXM1 expression in human invasive breast carcinomas (n = 204) and normal breast tissues (n = 46) on a tissue microarray. Additionally, using semiquantitative realtime PCR, a collection of paraffin embedded normal (n = 12) and cancerous (n = 25) breast tissue specimens as well as benign (n = 3) and malignant mammary cell lines (n = 8) were investigated for FOXM1 expression. SPSS version 14.0 was used for statistical analysis.
Results
FOXM1 was found to be overexpressed in breast cancer in comparison to normal breast tissue both on the RNA and protein level (e.g. 8.7 fold as measured by realtime PCR). We found a significant correlation between FOXM1 expression and the HER2 status determined by HER2 immunohistochemistry (P < 0.05). Univariate survival analysis showed a tendency between FOXM1 protein expression and unfavourable prognosis (P = 0.110).
Conclusion
FOXM1 may represent a novel breast tumour marker with prognostic significance that could be included into multi-marker panels for breast cancer. Interestingly, we found a positive correlation between FOXM1 expression and HER2 status, pointing to a potential role of FOXM1 as a new drug target in HER2 resistant breast tumour, as FOXM1 inhibitors for cancer treatment were described recently. Further studies are underway to analyse the potential interaction between FOXM1 and HER2, especially whether FOXM1 directly activates the HER2 promoter.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-42
PMCID: PMC2265720  PMID: 18254960
11.  Frequent expression loss of Inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain (ITIH) genes in multiple human solid tumors: A systematic expression analysis 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:25.
Background
The inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitors (ITI) are a family of plasma protease inhibitors, assembled from a light chain – bikunin, encoded by AMBP – and five homologous heavy chains (encoded by ITIH1, ITIH2, ITIH3, ITIH4, and ITIH5), contributing to extracellular matrix stability by covalent linkage to hyaluronan. So far, ITIH molecules have been shown to play a particularly important role in inflammation and carcinogenesis.
Methods
We systematically investigated differential gene expression of the ITIH gene family, as well as AMBP and the interacting partner TNFAIP6 in 13 different human tumor entities (of breast, endometrium, ovary, cervix, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, lung, thyroid, prostate, kidney, and pancreas) using cDNA dot blot analysis (Cancer Profiling Array, CPA), semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
Results
We found that ITIH genes are clearly downregulated in multiple human solid tumors, including breast, colon and lung cancer. Thus, ITIH genes may represent a family of putative tumor suppressor genes that should be analyzed in greater detail in the future. For an initial detailed analysis we chose ITIH2 expression in human breast cancer. Loss of ITIH2 expression in 70% of cases (n = 50, CPA) could be confirmed by real-time PCR in an additional set of breast cancers (n = 36). Next we studied ITIH2 expression on the protein level by analyzing a comprehensive tissue micro array including 185 invasive breast cancer specimens. We found a strong correlation (p < 0.001) between ITIH2 expression and estrogen receptor (ER) expression indicating that ER may be involved in the regulation of this ECM molecule.
Conclusion
Altogether, this is the first systematic analysis on the differential expression of ITIH genes in human cancer, showing frequent downregulation that may be associated with initiation and/or progression of these malignancies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-25
PMCID: PMC2268946  PMID: 18226209
12.  Expression analysis of mammaglobin A (SCGB2A2) and lipophilin B (SCGB1D2) in more than 300 human tumors and matching normal tissues reveals their co-expression in gynecologic malignancies 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:88.
Background
Mammaglobin A (SCGB2A2) and lipophilin B (SCGB1D2), two members of the secretoglobin superfamily, are known to be co-expressed in breast cancer, where their proteins form a covalent complex. Based on the relatively high tissue-specific expression pattern, it has been proposed that the mammaglobin A protein and/or its complex with lipophilin B could be used in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In view of these clinical implications, the aim of the present study was to analyze the expression of both genes in a large panel of human solid tumors (n = 309), corresponding normal tissues (n = 309) and cell lines (n = 11), in order to evaluate their tissue specific expression and co-expression pattern.
Methods
For gene and protein expression analyses, northern blot, dot blot hybridization of matched tumor/normal arrays (cancer profiling arrays), quantitative RT-PCR, non-radioisotopic RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used.
Results
Cancer profiling array data demonstrated that mammaglobin A and lipophilin B expression is not restricted to normal and malignant breast tissue. Both genes were abundantly expressed in tumors of the female genital tract, i.e. endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancer. In these four tissues the expression pattern of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B was highly concordant, with both genes being down-, up- or not regulated in the same tissue samples. In breast tissue, mammaglobin A expression was down-regulated in 49% and up-regulated in 12% of breast tumor specimens compared with matching normal tissues, while lipophilin B was down-regulated in 59% and up-regulated in 3% of cases. In endometrial tissue, expression of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B was clearly up-regulated in tumors (47% and 49% respectively). Both genes exhibited down-regulation in 22% of endometrial tumors. The only exceptions to this concordance of mammaglobin A/lipophilin B expression were normal and malignant tissues of prostate and kidney, where only lipophilin B was abundantly expressed and mammaglobin A was entirely absent. RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry confirmed expression of mammaglobin A on a cellular level in endometrial and cervical cancer and their corresponding normal tissues.
Conclusion
Altogether, these data suggest that expression of mammaglobin A and lipophilin B might be controlled in different tissues by the same regulatory transcriptional mechanisms. Diagnostic assays based on mammaglobin A expression and/or the mammaglobin A/lipophilin B complex appear to be less specific for breast cancer, but with a broader spectrum of potential applications, which includes gynecologic malignancies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-88
PMCID: PMC1513245  PMID: 16603086

Results 1-12 (12)