KOC (K homology domain containing protein overexpressed in cancer): a novel molecular marker that distinguishes between benign and malignant lesions of the pancreas

Department of Pathology, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 02/2005; 29(2):188-95.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "For these reasons, we focused on PDAC for the identification of potential diagnostic biomarkers then tested the resulting candidates in TMAs containing tissue from both PDAC and CCC using IHC. From our meta-analysis, we selected KOC [36,37,44,47], S100P [32,35,48], mesothelin [30,49,50] and MUC1 [31,40,51] for investigation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pancreatico-biliary adenocarcinomas (PBA) have a poor prognosis. Diagnosis is usually achieved by imaging and/or endoscopy with confirmatory cytology. Cytological interpretation can be difficult especially in the setting of chronic pancreatitis/cholangitis. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) biomarkers could act as an adjunct to cytology to improve the diagnosis. Thus, we performed a meta-analysis and selected KOC, S100P, mesothelin and MUC1 for further validation in PBA resection specimens. Methods Tissue microarrays containing tumour and normal cores in a ratio of 3:2, from 99 surgically resected PBA patients, were used for IHC. IHC was performed on an automated platform using antibodies against KOC, S100P, mesothelin and MUC1. Tissue cores were scored for staining intensity and proportion of tissue stained using a Histoscore method (range, 0–300). Sensitivity and specificity for individual biomarkers, as well as biomarker panels, were determined with different cut-offs for positivity and compared by summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Results The expression of all four biomarkers was high in PBA versus normal ducts, with a mean Histoscore of 150 vs. 0.4 for KOC, 165 vs. 0.3 for S100P, 115 vs. 0.5 for mesothelin and 200 vs. 14 for MUC1 (p < .0001 for all comparisons). Five cut-offs were carefully chosen for sensitivity/specificity analysis. Four of these cut-offs, namely 5%, 10% or 20% positive cells and Histoscore 20 were identified using ROC curve analysis and the fifth cut-off was moderate-strong staining intensity. Using 20% positive cells as a cut-off achieved higher sensitivity/specificity values: KOC 84%/100%; S100P 83%/100%; mesothelin 88%/92%; and MUC1 89%/63%. Analysis of a panel of KOC, S100P and mesothelin achieved 100% sensitivity and 99% specificity if at least 2 biomarkers were positive for 10% cut-off; and 100% sensitivity and specificity for 20% cut-off. Conclusion A biomarker panel of KOC, S100P and mesothelin with at least 2 biomarkers positive was found to be an optimum panel with both 10% and 20% cut-offs in resection specimens from patients with PBA.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Clinical Pathology
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    • "Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) messenger RNA (mRNA)-binding protein-3 (IMP-3), also known as K homology domain-containing protein overexpressed in cancer (KOC) and L523S, is a member of the IGF-II mRNA-binding protein (IMP) family, which also includes IMP-1 and IMP-2.1 IMP-3 is a 580 amino-acid protein encoded by a 4350-bp mRNA transcript produced by a gene located on chromosome 7p11.5.2 It is associated with cell proliferation and is considered an oncofetal protein due to its expression during embryogenesis and in some malignancies, including pancreatic carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, germ cell neoplasms, ovarian carcinoma, extrapulmonary small-cell carcinoma, as well as high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma of the lung.3–10 Its exact role in carcinogenesis is still unclear. "
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    ABSTRACT: The protein insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) is an important factor for cell migration and adhesion in malignancies. Recent studies have shown a remarkable overexpression of IMP3 in different human malignant neoplasms and also revealed it as an important prognostic marker in some tumor entities. The purpose of this study is to compare IMP3 immunostaining in squamous cellular skin tumor and determine whether IMP3 can aid in the differential diagnosis of these lesions. To our knowledge, IMP3 expression has not been investigated in skin squamous cell proliferations thus far. Immunohistochemical staining for IMP3 was performed on slides organized by samples from 67 patients, 34 with keratoacanthoma and 33 with primary squamous cell carcinoma (16 invasive and 17 in situ). The majority of our KAs (25/34) were negative for IMP-3 staining. The majority of SCCs (19/33) are positive for IMP3 staining. The percentage of IMP3 positive cells increases significantly in group SCC (p=0.0111), and in particular in the SCC in situ group (p=0.0021) with respect to the KA group. IMP3 intensity staining increases significantly in SCCs (p=0.0213), and particularly in SCCs (p=0.008) with respect to KA. Our data show that IMP3 expression is different in keratoacanthomas with respect to squamous cell carcinoma. IMP3 assessment and staining pattern, together with a careful histological study, can be useful in the differential diagnosis between KA e SCC.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · European journal of histochemistry: EJH
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    • "Third, MTLn3 (metastatic) cells do not localize ␤-actin mRNA and contain significantly less ZBP1 than MTC (non-metastatic) cells derived from the same tumor, which do localize the mRNA (Wang et al., 2004). Fourth, ZBP1 was found to be highly expressed in rat mammary tumors as well as in human tumors (Noubissi et al., 2006; Yantiss et al., 2005) but its expression was shown to be suppressed specifically in the invasive subpopulation of tumor cells (Wang et al., 2004). These results suggested that the ability of tumor cells to exhibit amoeboid movement and, therefore, heightened chemotaxis ability as is characteristic of metastatic cells (Condeelis et al., 1992) depended on a random distribution of ␤-actin mRNA, whereas cells that are able to target ␤-actin mRNA retain a stable polarity that would be less responsive to a chemoattractant. "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Journal of Cell Science
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