The biology of the 17-1A antigen (Ep-CAM).
ABSTRACT The glycoprotein recognized by the monoclonal antibody (mAb) 17-1A is present on most carcinomas, which makes it an attractive target for immunotherapy. Indeed, adjuvant treatment with mAb 17-1A did successfully reduce the 5 years mortality among colorectal cancer patients with minimal residual disease. Currently the antibody is approved for clinical use in Germany, and is on its way to approval in a number of other countries. New immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the 17-1A antigen are in development or even in early-phase clinical trials. Therefore, a better understanding of the biology of the 17-1A antigen may result in improved strategies for the treatment and diagnosis of human carcinomas. In this review the properties of the 17-1A antigen are discussed concerning tumor biology and the function of the molecule. This 40-kDa glycoprotein functions as an Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule, therefore the name Ep-CAM was suggested. Ep-CAM mediates Ca2+-independent homotypic cell-cell adhesions. Formation of Ep-CAM-mediated adhesions has a negative regulatory effect on adhesions mediated by classic cadherins, which may have strong effects on the differentiation and growth of epithelial cells. Indeed, in vivo expression of Ep-CAM is related to increased epithelial proliferation and negatively correlates with cell differentiation. A regulatory function of Ep-CAM in the morphogenesis of epithelial tissue has been demonstrated for a number of tissues, in particular pancreas and mammary gland. The function of Ep-CAM should be taken into consideration when developing new therapeutic approaches targeting this molecule.
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM) has been shown to be strongly expressed in human breast cancer and cancer stem cells and its overexpression has been supposed to support tumor progression and metastasis. However, effects of EpCAM overexpression on normal breast epithelial cells have never been studied before. Therefore, we analyzed effects of transient adenoviral overexpression of EpCAM on proliferation, migration and differentiation of primary human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). METHODS: HMECs were transfected by an adenoviral system for transient overexpression of EpCAM. Thereafter, changes in cell proliferation and migration were studied using a real time measurement system. Target gene expression was evaluated by transcriptome analysis in proliferating and polarized HMEC cultures. A Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) xenograft model was used to study effects on in vivo growth of HMECs. RESULTS: EpCAM overexpression in HMECs did not significantly alter gene expression profile of proliferating or growth arrested cells. Proliferating HMECs displayed predominantly glycosylated EpCAM isoforms and were inhibited in cell proliferation and migration by upregulation of p27KIP1 and p53. HMECs with overexpression of EpCAM showed a down regulation of E-cadherin. Moreover, cells were more resistant to TGF-beta1 induced growth arrest and maintained longer capacities to proliferate in vitro. EpCAM overexpressing HMECs xenografts in chicken embryos showed hyperplastic growth, lack of lumen formation and increased infiltrates of the chicken leukocytes. CONCLUSIONS: EpCAM revealed oncogenic features in normal human breast cells by, inducing resistance to TGF-beta1-mediated growth arrest and supporting a cell phenotype with longer proliferative capacities in vitro. EpCAM overexpression resulted in hyperplastic growth in vivo. Thus, we suggest that EpCAM acts as a prosurvival factor counteracting terminal differentiation processes in normal mammary glands.Molecular Cancer 06/2013; 12(1):56. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of antiviral chemotherapy, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) infections remain a severe global health problem. Of particular concern is the growing incidence of drug resistance in immunocompromised patients, which stresses the urgency to develop new effective treatment alternatives. We have developed a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb hu2c) that completely abrogates viral cell-to-cell spread, a key mechanism by which HSV-1/2 escapes humoral immune surveillance. Moreover, mAb hu2c neutralized HSV fully independent of complement and/or immune effector cell recruitment in a highly efficient manner. Prophylactic and therapeutic administration of mAb hu2c completely prevented infection-related mortality of severely immunodeficient mice being challenged with a lethal dose of HSV-1. The high neutralization capacity of mAb hu2c was fully maintained toward clinical HSV isolates being multiresistant to standard antiviral drugs, and infection was fully resolved in 7/8 nonobese diabetic/SCID mice being infected with a multidrug resistant HSV-1 patient isolate. Immunohistochemical studies revealed no significant cross-reactivity of the antibody toward human tissues. These features warrant further clinical development of mAb hu2c as an immunotherapeutic compound for the management of severe and particularly drug-resistant HSV infections.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM; CD326) is highly expressed on epithelium-derived tumors and can play a role in cell proliferation. Recently, regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) has been implicated as the trigger for EpCAM-mediated proliferative signaling. However, RIP does not explain all EpCAM-derived protein fragments. To shed light on how proteolytic cleavage is involved in EpCAM signaling, we characterized the protein biochemically using antibodies binding to three different EpCAM domains. Using a newly generated anti-EpCAM antibody, we find that EpCAM can be cleaved at multiple positions within its ectodomain in addition to described peptides, revealing that EpCAM is processed via distinct proteolytic pathways. Here, we report on four new peptides, but also discuss the previously described cleavage products to provide a comprehensive picture of EpCAM cleavage at multiple positions. The complex regulation of EpCAM might not only result in absence of full-length EpCAM, but the newly formed EpCAM-derived proteins may have their own signaling properties.Bioscience Reports 02/2013; · 1.88 Impact Factor