Pitfalls in immunohistochemistry--a recent example.

Institute of Pathology, University of Regensburg, Germany.
International journal of clinical and experimental pathology (Impact Factor: 1.78). 01/2012; 5(2):137-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Immunohistochemistry is an important and valuable technique in many fields of research, although several common pitfalls can lead to wrong or misinterpreted results. A recently published study [1] claims that the protein MIA (melanoma inhibitory activity) is expressed in Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Careful re-analysis resulted in negative results. Due to these results of our group we feel that this analysis could serve as example for the potential problems in immunohistochemistry caused by the combination of an unspecific antibody and the omission of evaluating control tissue samples.

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    ABSTRACT: A cDNA encoding a novel protein has been previously isolated from two independent sources: melanoma cell cultures and chondrocytes. The protein from human melanoma cell lines and tumors is called melanoma inhibitory activity (MIA) (Blesch et al. [1994] Cancer Res. 54:5695–5701) and the protein from primary bovine chondrocytes and cartilaginous tissues is called cartilage-derived retinoic acid-sensitive protein (CD-RAP) (Dietz and Sandell [1996] J. Biol. Chem. 271:3311–3316). In order to investigate the gene regulation and function of CD-RAP/MIA, the mouse gene locus was isolated and analyzed. Developmental expression was determined by in situ hybridization to mouse embryos. Expression was limited to cartilaginous tissues and was initiated with the advent of chondrogenesis, remaining abundant throughout development. The mouse gene was isolated and sequenced from a 129Sv library and sequenced directly from an additional strain, B6C3Fe. The mouse CD-RAP/MIA gene is 1.5 kbp and consists of four exons. The promoter sequence of the gene contains many potential regulatory domains including 8 basic helix-loop-helix protein-binding domains and an AT-rich domain, both motifs shown to be present in the cartilage-specific enhancer of the type II procollagen gene. Other potential cis-acting motifs include binding sites for GATA-1, NF-IL6, PEA3, w-elements, NFκB, Zeste and Sp1. The gene, called cdrap, was localized to the end of an arm of chromosome 7 at the same site as the transforming growth factor β1 (Tgf-β1) and the glucose phosphate isomerase 1 (Gpi1) genes. Potential mouse mutants that mapped to the same region of chromosome 7 were identified. Two of the potential mutants with skeletal phenotypes were sequenced, pudgy (pu) and extra toes with spotting (Xsj); however, no mutations were found in the coding sequence. To determine whether CD-RAP/MIA is associated with tumors of cartilage, mRNAs from a variety of rodent tissues and cell lines were screened. Expression was detected in a rodent tumor, the Swarm rat chondrosarcoma and a chondrosarcoma cell line derived from it, but not in other tissues or tumors of non-cartilage origin. Immunolocalization revealed CD-RAP/MIA protein localized in cartilage only. These results show that the normal expression of CD-RAP/MIA is limited to cartilage; however, pathologically, it is expressed both in melanoma and chondrosarcoma. The restricted expression of CD-RAP/MIA may provide an opportunity to monitor cartilage metabolic activity as well as the tumor activity of melanoma and chondrosarcoma. Dev. Dyn. 208:516–525, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Retinoic acid (RA) is known to play a role in various aspects of skeletal development in vivo, including morphogenesis, growth plate maturation, and apoptosis. In cell culture, RA treatment of chondrocytes suppresses the differentiated phenotype characterized by production of type II collagen and aggrecan. In an effort to discover molecules involved in regulation of the chondrocyte phenotype or related to developmental processes such as chondrogenesis, mRNAs from bovine chondrocytes cultured with and without RA were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and compared by differential display. PCR products whose expression was inhibited by RA treatment were cloned. One cDNA encodes a molecule we call cartilage-derived retinoic acid-sensitive protein (CD-RAP), and its properties are described here. The full-length bovine CD-RAP mRNA was cloned after amplification by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends procedure, and a part of the rat CD-RAP mRNA was amplified by reverse transcription-PCR using sequence-specific primers. The bovine CD-RAP mRNA contains an open reading frame of 130 amino acids. CD-RAP mRNA expression, as determined by Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization, was present only in cartilage primordia and cartilage. The inhibition of CD-RAP mRNA expression by RA in vitro was time- and dose-dependent and was tested over concentrations from 10(-8) to 10(-6) M. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA indicated that CD-RAP was encoded by a single copy gene and that no other genes were closely related. What appears to be the human homologue of CD-RAP was recently isolated and cloned from a melanoma cell line and shown to function as a growth inhibitory protein (Blesch, A., Boberhoff, A.-K., Apfel, R., Behl, C., Hessdoerfer, B., Schmitt, A., Jachimcza, P., Lottspeich, F., Buettner, R., and Bogdahn, U. (1994) Cancer Res. 54, 5695-5701). Neither CD-RAP nor this protein showed any homology to known proteins. We speculate that, in vivo, CD-RAP functions during cartilage development and maintenance.
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