Expression of the onconeural CV2/CRMP5 antigen in thymus and thymoma.
ABSTRACT Anti-CV2 antibodies (AB) react with the developmentally regulated neural proteins CRMPs and particularly with CRMP5. They occur with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and thymoma. SCLCs universally express CRMP5. We investigated the expression of CRMPs in thymoma and thymus. In thymoma, none of the CRMPs were detected by immunohistochemistry in tumorous epithelial cells with specific antibodies including CRMP5 but an antibody reacting with a peptide common to the CRMPs labeled a 66-kDa protein in Western blot of rat brain, thymus, and thymoma extracts. Thus, the normal CRMP5 is probably not expressed by tumorous epithelial cells. These results indicate that the mechanisms leading to CRMP5 autoimmunization are different in SCLC and thymoma.