KOC (K homology domain containing protein overexpressed in cancer): a novel molecular marker that distinguishes between benign and malignant lesions of the pancreas.
ABSTRACT KOC (K homology domain containing protein overexpressed in cancer) is a novel oncofetal RNA-binding protein highly expressed in pancreatic carcinomas. Recently, Corixa Corporation developed a monoclonal antibody specific for KOC that can be used with standard immunohistochemical techniques. The purposes of this study were 1) to assess KOC mRNA expression in pancreatic carcinoma, 2) to determine the pattern of KOC immunoexpression among benign, borderline, and malignant pancreatic epithelial lesions, and 3) to evaluate the utility of the KOC antibody in distinguishing between these entities. mRNA was isolated from fresh pancreatic tissues (19 carcinomas, 2 normal pancreas, 1 chronic pancreatitis) and amplified using standard RT-PCR techniques. Fifteen of 19 (79%) carcinomas overexpressed KOC mRNA relative to non-neoplastic tissue samples and expression increased progressively with tumor stage: the mean copy number of KOC mRNA transcripts was 1.5, 11.1, 31, and 28 for stage I, II, III, and IV carcinomas, respectively, compared with 0.9 and 1 for normal pancreatic tissue and chronic pancreatitis, respectively. Immunostains using the KOC antibody were performed on 50 surgical resection specimens (38 invasive adenocarcinomas, 3 intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms, 2 mucinous cystic neoplasms, 7 chronic pancreatitis). KOC staining was present in 37 of 38 (97%) carcinomas: the staining reaction was moderate or strong in 36 of 38 (94%) and present in >50% of the tumor cells in 35 of 38 (92%) cases. Severe dysplasia of the ductal epithelium, present in 19 foci of intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma, mucinous cystadenocarcinoma, and grade 3 pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN3) showed strong or moderate staining in 15 (79%) cases, whereas foci of mild and moderate dysplasia (intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms and mucinous cystic neoplasms with adenoma and/or moderate dysplasia, PanIN1, and PanIN2) were uniformly negative for this marker in 25 and 22 cases, respectively. In the normal pancreas, weak background staining of acini was present in 12 of 50 (24%) cases but was easily distinguishable from the type of staining identified in neoplastic epithelium, and benign ducts and ductules were negative in all cases. Four of 38 (11%) foci of chronic pancreatitis, present in the 7 resections performed for chronic pancreatitis as well as 31 foci of peritumoral chronic pancreatitis, showed weak staining in <10% of the ductules. We conclude that KOC is a sensitive and specific marker for carcinomas and high-grade dysplastic lesions of the pancreatic ductal epithelium. Therefore, immunostains directed against KOC may be of diagnostic utility in the evaluation of pancreatic lesions, particularly when biopsy material is limited.
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ABSTRACT: The interaction of beta-actin mRNA with zipcode-binding protein 1 (ZBP1) is necessary for its localization to the lamellipod of fibroblasts and plays a crucial role in cell polarity and motility. Recently, we have shown that low ZBP1 levels correlate with tumor-cell invasion and metastasis. In order to establish a cause and effect relationship, we expressed ZBP1 in a metastatic rat mammary adenocarcinoma cell line (MTLn3) that has low endogenous ZBP1 levels and delocalized beta-actin mRNA. This leads to localization of beta-actin mRNA, and eventually reduces the chemotactic potential of the cells as well as their ability to move and orient towards vessels in tumors. To determine how ZBP1 leads to these two apparently contradictory aspects of cell behavior--increased cell motility but decreased chemotaxis--we examined cell motility in detail, both in cell culture and in vivo in tumors. We found that ZBP1 expression resulted in tumor cells with a stable polarized phenotype, and reduced their ability to move in response to a gradient in culture. To connect these results on cultured cells to the reduced metastatic ability of these cells, we used multiphoton imaging in vivo to examine tumor cell behavior in primary tumors. We found that ZBP1 expression actually reduced tumor cell motility and chemotaxis, presumably mediating their decreased metastatic potential by reducing their ability to respond to signals necessary for invasion.Journal of Cell Science 10/2007; 120(Pt 18):3173-8. DOI:10.1242/jcs.000638 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Signaling mechanisms underlying the induction of the pre-pancreatic tissue within the endoderm remain poorly understood. Through an expression cloning strategy, we have identified a previously uncharacterized pancreatic factor that we named Shirin. Interestingly, the non-coding RNA regulatory sequence (3 UTR) of Shirin is sufficient to induce insulin expression in Xenopus embryos. Biochemical studies demonstrate that this RNA sequence is able to bind directly to a trans-acting factor, Vg1RBP, which was previously shown to be involved in the localization of endodermal determinant factors. Loss-of-function analysis indicates that Vg1RBP is required for establishment of pancreatic fate within the endoderm, suggesting a synergism between Vg1RBP and Shirin in the embryo. This study argues for a central role of post-transcriptional mechanisms in establishing pancreatic fate, where a 3 UTR may recruit factors necessary for pancreatic development, and highlights an unknown embryological activity of Vg1RBP.Developmental Biology 05/2006; 292(2):442-56. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.01.022 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Distant metastasis is the main cause of death from renal-cell carcinoma, and the metastatic potential of tumours is often unpredictable. We aimed to investigate whether IMP3, an oncofetal RNA-binding protein, can be used as a biomarker to predict metastasis and prognosis of renal-cell carcinoma. We studied 501 primary and metastatic renal-cell tumours. 371 patients with localised primary tumours were further investigated by use of survival analysis. We assessed IMP3 expression in tumour tissues by immunohistochemistry, and IMP3 mRNA and protein expression in selected tissues by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analysis. Compared with non-metastatic renal-cell tumours, IMP3 expression was greatly increased not only in metastatic tumours but also in a subset of primary tumours that were likely to subsequently develop metastases. Patients with primary localised tumours that did not express IMP3 had a longer metastasis-free survival and overall survival than did those with tumours expressing IMP3 (p<0.0001). Patients with IMP3-positive localised tumours had a much lower 5-year metastasis-free survival than did those with IMP3-negative tumours (for stage I tumours, 44% vs 98%, hazard ratio 17.18 [95% CI 7.82-37.78]; stage II, 41% vs 94%, 10.14 [3.46-29.68]; stage III, 16% vs 62%, 4.04 [2.23-7.31]). IMP3 expression was also associated with reduced 5-year overall survival (stage I, 32% vs 89%, 6.44 [3.63-11.42]; stage II, 41% vs 88%, 6.93 [2.63-18.27]; stage III, 14% vs 58%, 3.46 [1.98-6.05]). Multivariable analysis of IMP3 status (positive vs negative) in primary tumours showed hazard ratios of 5.84 (95% CI 3.60-9.49) for metastasis-free survival and 4.01 (2.66-6.05) for overall survival (both p<0.0001), which were much higher than hazard ratios associated with other independent risk factors. IMP3 is an independent prognostic marker that can be used at initial diagnosis of renal-cell carcinoma to identify patients who have a high potential to develop metastasis and who might benefit from early systemic treatment.The Lancet Oncology 08/2006; 7(7):556-64. DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(06)70732-X · 24.73 Impact Factor