Gene Summary

Gene:KRT18; keratin 18
Aliases: K18, CK-18, CYK18
Summary:KRT18 encodes the type I intermediate filament chain keratin 18. Keratin 18, together with its filament partner keratin 8, are perhaps the most commonly found members of the intermediate filament gene family. They are expressed in single layer epithelial tissues of the body. Mutations in this gene have been linked to cryptogenic cirrhosis. Two transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:keratin, type I cytoskeletal 18
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Liver Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Apoptosis
  • Base Sequence
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Transcriptome
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Breast Cancer
  • Proteomics
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Keratin-18
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Keratins
  • Keratin-8
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Tunisia
  • Drug Resistance
  • Pinealoma
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Gene Expression
  • Staging
  • Western Blotting
  • Vimentin
  • siRNA
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Chromosome 12
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Molecular Sequence Data
Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: KRT18 (cancer-related)

Zhang B, Wang J, Liu W, et al.
Cytokeratin 18 knockdown decreases cell migration and increases chemosensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(12):2479-2487 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cytokeratin 18 (CK18) is a structural protein that is normally expressed in many single-layer epithelia. Previous studies have indicated that aberrant CK18 expression is associated with cancer progression. However, the functions of CK18 in lung cancer have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigate the roles of CK18 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: CK18 protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in a lung cancer tissue microarray containing 129 cancer samples, and correlations between CK18 expression and clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis were analyzed. We then studied the effects of CK18 knockdown on cell motility and chemosensitivity in lung cancer cells.
RESULTS: High CK18 expression was detected in 101/129 (78.3 %) lung cancers. CK18 expression was significantly correlated to clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, the number of pathologically positive lymph nodes and recurrence and metastasis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that CK18 was a prognostic factor for overall survival (P = 0.016) and disease-free survival (P = 0.014). In addition, CK18 knockdown decreased cell migration and enhanced the sensitivity of lung cancer cells to paclitaxel.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that CK18 plays an important role in lung cancer progression and may be a therapeutic target for NSCLC.

Kilic-Baygutalp N, Ozturk N, Orsal-Ibisoglu E, et al.
Evaluation of serum HGF and CK18 levels in patients with esophageal cancer.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytokeratins are thought to play a role in apoptosis. Cytokeratin 18 (CK18) is involved in the formation of intracellular cytoskeleton, and has been considered a promising apoptosis marker in gastrointestinal carcinomas. Growth factors, including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), may provide a microenvironment for malignant cells. In this study, we aimed to compare serum HGF and CK18 levels between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients and healthy controls. The study included 41 adult patients (20 male, 21 female) diagnosed with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, with a mean age of 63.54 ± 10.88 years (range, 41-82 years). We also recruited 39 age and gender-matched healthy control subjects. Venous blood samples were taken; serum HGF and CK18 concentrations were determined via ELISA. Results indicated that serum HGF levels were higher in patients (1.37 ± 0.63 ng/mL) as compared to the healthy subjects (0.41 ± 0.29 ng/mL). Similarly, serum CK18 levels were higher in the patient group (2.53 ± 1.33 ng/mL) than in the control group (0.34 ± 0.23 ng/mL) (P < 0.001). In addition, serum HGF and CK18 levels were positively correlated with metastasis stage, tumor stage, and disease stage of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate serum HGF and CK18 levels in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The results suggest that serum CK18 and HGF levels may be used as prognostic and disease monitoring biomarkers of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Trisdale SK, Schwab NM, Hou X, et al.
Molecular manipulation of keratin 8/18 intermediate filaments: modulators of FAS-mediated death signaling in human ovarian granulosa tumor cells.
J Ovarian Res. 2016; 9:8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Granulosa cell tumors (GCT) are a rare ovarian neoplasm but prognosis is poor following recurrence. Keratin intermediate filaments expressed in these tumors are a diagnostic marker, yet paradoxically, may also constitute a target for therapeutic intervention. In the current study, we evaluated keratin 8/18 (K8/18) filament expression as a mechanism of resistance to apoptosis in GCT, specifically focusing on regulation of the cell surface death receptor, Fas (FAS).
METHODS: The GCT cell line, KGN, was transiently transfected with siRNA to KRT8 and KRT18 to reduce K8/18 filament expression. Expression of K8/18, FAS, and apoptotic proteins (PARP, cleaved PARP) were evaluated by fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometric analysis, and immunoblotting, respectively. The incidence of FAS-mediated apoptosis in KGN cells was measured by caspase 3/7 activity. All experiments were performed independently three to six times, using a fresh aliquot of KGN cells for each experiment. Quantitative data were analyzed by one- or two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by a Tukey's post-test for multiple comparisons; differences among means were considered statistically significant at P < 0.05.
RESULTS: Control cultures of KGN cells exhibited abundant K8/18 filament expression (~90 % of cells), and minimal expression of FAS (<25 % of cells). These cells were resistant to FAS-activating antibody (FasAb)-induced apoptosis, as determined by detection of cleaved PARP and measurement of caspase 3/7 activity. Conversely, siRNA-mediated knock-down of K8/18 filament expression enhanced FAS expression (> 70 % of cells) and facilitated FasAb-induced apoptosis, evident by increased caspase 3/7 activity (P < 0.05). Additional experiments revealed that inhibition of protein synthesis, but not MEK1/2 or PI3K signaling, also prompted FasAb-induced apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrated that K8/18 filaments provide resistance to apoptosis in GCT by impairing FAS expression. The abundance of keratin filaments in these cells and their role in apoptotic resistance provides a greater mechanistic understanding of ovarian tumorgenicity, specifically GCT, as well as a clinically-relevant target for potential therapeutic intervention.

Ge F, Zhang H, Wang DD, et al.
Enhanced detection and comprehensive in situ phenotypic characterization of circulating and disseminated heteroploid epithelial and glioma tumor cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):27049-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Conventional strategy of anti-EpCAM capture and immunostaining of cytokeratins (CKs) to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is limited by highly heterogeneous and dynamic expression or absence of EpCAM and/or CKs in CTCs. In this study, a novel integrated cellular and molecular approach of subtraction enrichment (SE) and immunostaining-FISH (iFISH) was successfully developed. Both large or small size CTCs and circulating tumor microemboli (CTM) in various biofluid samples including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of cancer patients and patient-derived-xenograft (PDX) mouse models were efficiently enriched and comprehensively identified and characterized by SE-iFISH. Non-hematopoietic CTCs with heteroploid chromosome 8 were detected in 87-92% of lung, esophageal and gastric cancer patients. Characterization of CTCs performed by CK18-iFISH showed that CK18, the dual epithelial marker and tumor biomarker, was strong positive in only 14% of lung and 24% of esophageal CTCs, respectively. Unlike conventional methodologies restricted only to the large and/or both EpCAM and CK positive CTCs, SE-iFISH enables efficient enrichment and performing in situ phenotypic and karyotypic identification and characterization of the highly heterogeneous CTC subtypes classified by both chromosome ploidy and the expression of various tumor biomarkers. Each CTC subtype may possess distinct clinical significance relative to tumor metastasis, relapse, therapeutic drug sensitivity or resistance, etc.

Kobayashi K, Morishita A, Iwama H, et al.
Galectin-9 suppresses cholangiocarcinoma cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis but not cell cycle arrest.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(4):1761-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma is the most common biliary malignancy and the second most common hepatic malignancy after hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Galectin-9 (Gal-9) is a tandem-repeat-type galectin that has recently been shown to exert antiproliferative effects on cancer cells. Therefore, the present study evaluated the effects of Gal-9 on the proliferation of human cholangiocarcinoma cells in vitro as well as the microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with the antitumor effects of Gal-9. Gal-9 suppressed the proliferation of cholangiocarcinoma cell lines in vitro and the growth of human cholangiocarcinoma cell xenografts in nude mice. Our data further revealed that Gal-9 increased caspase‑cleaved keratin 18 (CCK18) levels, and the expression of cytochrome c increased in Gal-9-treated cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. These data suggested that Gal-9 induced cholangiocarcinoma cell apoptosis via the intrinsic apoptosis pathway mediated by caspase-dependent or -independent pathways. In addition, Gal-9 reduced the phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin-like growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), hepatocyte growth factor receptor and fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3). These findings suggest that Gal-9 can be a candidate of therapeutic target in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.

Davalieva K, Kostovska IM, Kiprijanovska S, et al.
Proteomics analysis of malignant and benign prostate tissue by 2D DIGE/MS reveals new insights into proteins involved in prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(14):1586-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The key to a more effective diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic management of prostate cancer (PCa) could lie in the direct analysis of cancer tissue. In this study, by comparative proteomics analysis of PCa and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) tissues we attempted to elucidate the proteins and regulatory pathways involved in this disease.
METHODS: The samples used in this study were fresh surgical tissues with clinically and histologically confirmed PCa (n = 19) and BPH (n = 33). We used two dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) and bioinformatics analysis.
RESULTS: Thirty-nine spots with statistically significant 1.8-fold variation or more in abundance, corresponding to 28 proteins were identified. The IPA analysis pointed out to 3 possible networks regulated within MAPK, ERK, TGFB1, and ubiquitin pathways. Thirteen of the identified proteins, namely, constituents of the intermediate filaments (KRT8, KRT18, DES), potential tumor suppressors (ARHGAP1, AZGP1, GSTM2, and MFAP4), transport and membrane organization proteins (FABP5, GC, and EHD2), chaperons (FKBP4 and HSPD1) and known cancer marker (NME1) have been associated with prostate and other cancers by numerous proteomics, genomics or functional studies. We evidenced for the first time the dysregulation of 9 proteins (CSNK1A1, ARID5B, LYPLA1, PSMB6, RABEP1, TALDO1, UBE2N, PPP1CB, and SERPINB1) that may have role in PCa. The UBE2N, PSMB6, and PPP1CB, involved in cell cycle regulation and progression were evaluated by Western blot analysis which confirmed significantly higher abundances of UBE2N and PSMB6 and significantly lower abundance of PPP1CB in PCa.
CONCLUSION: In addition to the identification of substantial number of proteins with known association with PCa, the proteomic approach in this study revealed proteins not previously clearly related to PCa, providing a starting point for further elucidation of their function in disease initiation and progression.

Wang X, Lao Y, Xu N, et al.
Oblongifolin C inhibits metastasis by up-regulating keratin 18 and tubulins.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:10293 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor metastasis is the main cause of cancer-related patient death. In this study, we performed a wound healing migration screen to search for a metastatic inhibitor within our library of natural compounds. We found that oblongifolin C (OC), a natural compound extracted from Garcinia yunnanensis Hu, is an effective inhibitor of metastasis in human esophageal squamous carcinoma Eca109 cells. The transwell migration and matrigel invasion assay results also showed that OC inhibits the migration of Eca109 cells and HepG2 cells. OC can increase the expression of tubulin, indicating that OC inhibits metastasis via tubulin aggregation. In addition, the Western blotting, real-time PCR, and immunostaining results indicated that OC increases the expression of keratin18. Furthermore, the knockdown of keratin 18 by small interfering RNAs inhibited the expression of tubulin and increased the metastasis of cancer cells, suggesting that keratin 18 is the upstream signal of tubulin and plays a vital role in metastasis. A subsequent study in a tail vein injection metastasis model showed that OC can significantly inhibit pulmonary metastasis, as revealed by immunohistochemistry staining. Taken together, our results suggest that OC inhibits metastasis through the induction of the expression of keratin 18 and may be useful in cancer therapy.

Li D, Song XY, Yue QX, et al.
Proteomic and bioinformatic analyses of possible target-related proteins of gambogic acid in human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells.
Chin J Nat Med. 2015; 13(1):41-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gambogic acid (GA) is an anticancer agent in phase ‖b clinical trial in China but its mechanism of action has not been fully clarified. The present study was designed to search the possible target-related proteins of GA in cancer cells using proteomic method and establish possible network using bioinformatic analysis. Cytotoxicity and anti-migration effects of GA in MDA-MB-231 cells were checked using MTT assay, flow cytometry, wound migration assay, and chamber migration assay. Possible target-related proteins of GA at early (3 h) and late stage (24 h) of treatment were searched using a proteomic technology, two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). The possible network of GA was established using bioinformatic analysis. The intracellular expression levels of vimentin, keratin 18, and calumenin were determined using Western blotting. GA inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Additionally, GA exhibited anti-migration effects at non-toxic doses. In 2-DE analysis, totally 23 possible GA targeted proteins were found, including those with functions in cytoskeleton and transport, regulation of redox state, metabolism, ubiquitin-proteasome system, transcription and translation, protein transport and modification, and cytokine. Network analysis of these proteins suggested that cytoskeleton-related proteins might play important roles in the effects of GA. Results of Western blotting confirmed the cleavage of vimentin, increase in keratin 18, and decrease in calumenin levels in GA-treated cells. In summary, GA is a multi-target compound and its anti-cancer effects may be based on several target-related proteins such as cytoskeleton-related proteins.

Drew JE, Farquharson AJ, Mayer CD, et al.
Predictive gene signatures: molecular markers distinguishing colon adenomatous polyp and carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e113071 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancers exhibit abnormal molecular signatures associated with disease initiation and progression. Molecular signatures could improve cancer screening, detection, drug development and selection of appropriate drug therapies for individual patients. Typically only very small amounts of tissue are available from patients for analysis and biopsy samples exhibit broad heterogeneity that cannot be captured using a single marker. This report details application of an in-house custom designed GenomeLab System multiplex gene expression assay, the hCellMarkerPlex, to assess predictive gene signatures of normal, adenomatous polyp and carcinoma colon tissue using archived tissue bank material. The hCellMarkerPlex incorporates twenty-one gene markers: epithelial (EZR, KRT18, NOX1, SLC9A2), proliferation (PCNA, CCND1, MS4A12), differentiation (B4GANLT2, CDX1, CDX2), apoptotic (CASP3, NOX1, NTN1), fibroblast (FSP1, COL1A1), structural (ACTG2, CNN1, DES), gene transcription (HDAC1), stem cell (LGR5), endothelial (VWF) and mucin production (MUC2). Gene signatures distinguished normal, adenomatous polyp and carcinoma. Individual gene targets significantly contributing to molecular tissue types, classifier genes, were further characterised using real-time PCR, in-situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry revealing aberrant epithelial expression of MS4A12, LGR5 CDX2, NOX1 and SLC9A2 prior to development of carcinoma. Identified gene signatures identify aberrant epithelial expression of genes prior to cancer development using in-house custom designed gene expression multiplex assays. This approach may be used to assist in objective classification of disease initiation, staging, progression and therapeutic responses using biopsy material.

Wu L, Wang Y, Liu Y, et al.
A central role for TRPS1 in the control of cell cycle and cancer development.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(17):7677-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The eukaryotic cell cycle is controlled by a complex regulatory network, which is still poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that TRPS1, an atypical GATA factor, modulates cell proliferation and controls cell cycle progression. Silencing TRPS1 had a differential effect on the expression of nine key cell cycle-related genes. Eight of these genes are known to be involved in the regulation of the G2 phase and the G2/M transition of the cell cycle. Using cell synchronization studies, we confirmed that TRPS1 plays an important role in the control of cells in these phases of the cell cycle. We also show that silencing TRPS1 controls the expression of 53BP1, but not TP53. TRPS1 silencing also decreases the expression of two histone deacetylases, HDAC2 and HDAC4, as well as the overall HDAC activity in the cells, and leads to the subsequent increase in the acetylation of histone4 K16 but not of histone3 K9 or K18. Finally, we demonstrate that TRPS1 expression is elevated in luminal breast cancer cells and luminal breast cancer tissues as compared with other breast cancer subtypes. Overall, our study proposes that TRPS1 acts as a central hub in the control of cell cycle and proliferation during cancer development.

Kabir NN, Rönnstrand L, Kazi JU
Keratin 19 expression correlates with poor prognosis in breast cancer.
Mol Biol Rep. 2014; 41(12):7729-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer expression profiling has been used for determining biomarkers. Using gene expression profiles of 2,400 patients we identified keratin 19 (KRT19) as a highly deregulated gene in breast cancer. KRT19 expression is independent of patient race but correlates with disease grade, and ER, PR or HER2 expression. Expression of TPD52, GATA3 and KRT18 was increased in KRT19 expressing patients. Furthermore, KRT19 expression was associated with ER up-regulation and Luminal B gene signatures, as well as a constitutive RAF1 signaling pathway. Finally, KRT19 expression correlated with poor overall survival. Taken together, our results suggest that KRT19 expression can be used as a prognostic marker.

Zhang H, Chen X, Wang J, et al.
EGR1 decreases the malignancy of human non-small cell lung carcinoma by regulating KRT18 expression.
Sci Rep. 2014; 4:5416 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Early growth response 1 (EGR1) is a multifunctional transcription factor; Positive and negative functions of EGR1 in various tumors rely on the integrated functions of various genes it regulates. In this study, we observed the role of EGR1 in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and identified genes that influence cell fate and tumor development. Various assays showed that EGR1 arrested cell mobility, inhibited migration, and induced apoptosis. Microarray analysis revealed that 100 genes, including CDKN1C, CDC27 and PRKDC, changed their mRNA expressions with the increase of EGR1 and contributed to intervention of tumor progression. Bioinformatics analysis and promoter analysis indicated that an EGR1 binding site was situated in the promoter of KRT18 (also named CK18) and KRT18 could assist in inhibition of NSCLC development. The expression level of EGR1 and KRT18 in NSCLC clinical cases was investigated by immunohistochemistry, in which the protein expression of KRT18 was found to be significantly associated with EGR1 and lymph node metastasis. The results collectively confirm that EGR1 functions as a tumor suppressor in NSCLC. This study is the first to report KRT18 expression is directly regulated by EGR1, and contributes to decrease malignancy of NSCLC.

Liao Y, Guo S, Chen Y, et al.
VSIG4 expression on macrophages facilitates lung cancer development.
Lab Invest. 2014; 94(7):706-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor-associated macrophages are a prominent component of lung cancer stroma and contribute to tumor progression. The protein V-set and Ig domain-containing 4 (VSIG4), a novel B7 family-related macrophage protein that has the capacity to inhibit T-cell activation, has a potential role in the development of lung cancer. In this study, 10 human non-small-cell lung cancer specimens were collected and immunohistochemically analyzed for VSIG4 expression. Results showed massive VSIG4(+) cell infiltration throughout the samples. Immunofluorescent double staining showed that VSIG4 was present on CD68(+) macrophages, but absent from CD3(+) T cells, CD31(+) endothelial cells, and CK-18(+) epithelial cells. Moreover, VSIG4 was coexpressed on B7-H1(+) and B7-H3(+) cells in these tumor specimens. Transfection of the VSIG4 gene into 293FT cells demonstrated that the VSIG4 signal could inhibit cocultured CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell proliferation and cytokine (IL-2 and IFN-γ) production in vitro. Interestingly, in a murine tumor model induced by Lewis lung carcinoma cell line, we found that tumors grown in VSIG4-deficient (VSIG4(-/-)) mice were significantly smaller than those found in wild-type littermates. All of these results demonstrate that macrophage-associated VSIG4 is an activator that facilitates lung carcinoma development. Specific targeting of VSIG4 may prove to be a novel, efficacious strategy for the treatment of this carcinoma.

Liu G, Li DZ, Jiang CS, Wang W
Transduction motif analysis of gastric cancer based on a human signaling network.
Braz J Med Biol Res. 2014; 47(5):369-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To investigate signal regulation models of gastric cancer, databases and literature were used to construct the signaling network in humans. Topological characteristics of the network were analyzed by CytoScape. After marking gastric cancer-related genes extracted from the CancerResource, GeneRIF, and COSMIC databases, the FANMOD software was used for the mining of gastric cancer-related motifs in a network with three vertices. The significant motif difference method was adopted to identify significantly different motifs in the normal and cancer states. Finally, we conducted a series of analyses of the significantly different motifs, including gene ontology, function annotation of genes, and model classification. A human signaling network was constructed, with 1643 nodes and 5089 regulating interactions. The network was configured to have the characteristics of other biological networks. There were 57,942 motifs marked with gastric cancer-related genes out of a total of 69,492 motifs, and 264 motifs were selected as significantly different motifs by calculating the significant motif difference (SMD) scores. Genes in significantly different motifs were mainly enriched in functions associated with cancer genesis, such as regulation of cell death, amino acid phosphorylation of proteins, and intracellular signaling cascades. The top five significantly different motifs were mainly cascade and positive feedback types. Almost all genes in the five motifs were cancer related, including EPOR, MAPK14, BCL2L1, KRT18, PTPN6, CASP3, TGFBR2, AR, and CASP7. The development of cancer might be curbed by inhibiting signal transductions upstream and downstream of the selected motifs.

Zhou X, Hu Y, Dai L, et al.
MicroRNA-7 inhibits tumor metastasis and reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition through AKT/ERK1/2 inactivation by targeting EGFR in epithelial ovarian cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e96718 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression and activation result in increased proliferation and migration of solid tumors including ovarian cancer. In recent years, mounting evidence indicates that EGFR is a direct and functional target of miR-7. In this study, we found that miR-7 expression was significantly downregulated in highly metastatic epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cell lines and metastatic tissues, whereas the expression of, EGFR correlated positively with metastasis in both EOC patients and cell lines. Overexpression of miR-7 markedly suppressed the capacities of cell invasion and migration and resulted in morphological changes from a mesenchymal phenotype to an epithelial-like phenotype in EOC. In addition, overexpression of miR-7 upregulated CK-18 and β-catenin expression and downregulated Vimentin expression, accompanied with EGFR inhibition and AKT/ERK1/2 inactivation. Similar to miR-7 transfection, silencing of EGFR with this siRNA in EOC cells also upregulated CK-18 and β-catenin expression and downregulated Vimentin expression, and decreased phosphorylation of both Akt and ERK1/2, confirming that EGFR is a target of miR-7 in reversing EMT. The pharmacological inhibition of PI3K-AKT and ERK1/2 both significantly enhanced CK-18 and β-catenin expression and suppressed vimentin expression, indicating that AKT and ERK1/2 pathways are required for miR-7 mediating EMT. Finally, the expression of miR-7 and EGFR in primary EOC with matched metastasis tissues was explored. It was showed that miR-7 is inversely correlated with EGFR. Taken together, our results suggested that miR-7 inhibited tumor metastasis and reversed EMT through AKT and ERK1/2 pathway inactivation by reducing EGFR expression in EOC cell lines. Thus, miR-7 might be a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target for ovarian cancer metastasis intervention.

Liao XH, Wang Y, Wang N, et al.
Human chorionic gonadotropin decreases human breast cancer cell proliferation and promotes differentiation.
IUBMB Life. 2014; 66(5):352-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein produced by placental trophoblasts. Previous studies indicated that hCG could be responsible for the pregnancy-induced protection against breast cancer in women. It is reported that hCG decreases proliferation and invasion of breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Our research also demonstrates that hCG can reduce the proliferation of MCF-7 cells by downregulating the expression of proliferation markers, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and proliferation-related Ki-67 antigen (Ki-67). Interestingly, we find here that hCG elevates the state of cellular differentiation, as characterized by the upregulation of differentiation markers, β-casein, cytokeratin-18 (CK-18), and E-cadherin. Inhibition of hCG secretion or luteinizing hormone/hCG receptors (LH/hCGRs) synthesis can weaken the effect of hCG on the induction of cell differentiation. Furthermore, hCG can suppress the expression of estrogen receptor alpha. hCG activated receptor-mediated cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A signaling pathway. These findings indicated that a protective effect of hCG against breast cancer may be associated with its growth inhibitory and differentiation induction function in breast cancer cells.

Powe DG, Dhondalay GK, Lemetre C, et al.
DACH1: its role as a classifier of long term good prognosis in luminal breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e84428 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oestrogen receptor (ER) positive (luminal) tumours account for the largest proportion of females with breast cancer. Theirs is a heterogeneous disease presenting clinical challenges in managing their treatment. Three main biological luminal groups have been identified but clinically these can be distilled into two prognostic groups in which Luminal A are accorded good prognosis and Luminal B correlate with poor prognosis. Further biomarkers are needed to attain classification consensus. Machine learning approaches like Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) have been used for classification and identification of biomarkers in breast cancer using high throughput data. In this study, we have used an artificial neural network (ANN) approach to identify DACH1 as a candidate luminal marker and its role in predicting clinical outcome in breast cancer is assessed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A reiterative ANN approach incorporating a network inferencing algorithm was used to identify ER-associated biomarkers in a publically available cDNA microarray dataset. DACH1 was identified in having a strong influence on ER associated markers and a positive association with ER. Its clinical relevance in predicting breast cancer specific survival was investigated by statistically assessing protein expression levels after immunohistochemistry in a series of unselected breast cancers, formatted as a tissue microarray.
RESULTS: Strong nuclear DACH1 staining is more prevalent in tubular and lobular breast cancer. Its expression correlated with ER-alpha positive tumours expressing PgR, epithelial cytokeratins (CK)18/19 and 'luminal-like' markers of good prognosis including FOXA1 and RERG (p<0.05). DACH1 is increased in patients showing longer cancer specific survival and disease free interval and reduced metastasis formation (p<0.001). Nuclear DACH1 showed a negative association with markers of aggressive growth and poor prognosis.
CONCLUSION: Nuclear DACH1 expression appears to be a Luminal A biomarker predictive of good prognosis, but is not independent of clinical stage, tumour size, NPI status or systemic therapy.

Daniels G, Li Y, Gellert LL, et al.
TBLR1 as an androgen receptor (AR) coactivator selectively activates AR target genes to inhibit prostate cancer growth.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(1):127-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR), a steroid hormone receptor, is critical for prostate cancer growth. However, activation of AR by androgens can also lead to growth suppression and differentiation. Transcriptional cofactors play an important role in this switch between proliferative and anti-proliferative AR target gene programs. Transducin β-like-related protein 1 (TBLR1), a core component of the nuclear receptor corepressor complex, shows both corepressor and coactivator activities on nuclear receptors, but little is known about its effects on AR and prostate cancer. We characterized TBLR1 as a coactivator of AR in prostate cancer cells and determined that the activation is dependent on both phosphorylation and 19S proteosome. We showed that TBLR1 physically interacts with AR and directly occupies the androgen-response elements of the affected AR target genes in an androgen-dependent manner. TBLR1 is primarily localized in the nucleus in benign prostate cells and nuclear expression is significantly reduced in prostate cancer cells in culture. Similarly, in human tumor samples, the expression of TBLR1 in the nucleus is significantly reduced in the malignant glands compared with the surrounding benign prostatic glands (P<0.005). Stable ectopic expression of nuclear TBLR1 leads to androgen-dependent growth suppression of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by selective activation of androgen-regulated genes associated with differentiation (e.g. KRT18) and growth suppression (e.g. NKX3-1), but not cell proliferation of the prostate cancer. Understanding the molecular switches involved in the transition from AR-dependent growth promotion to AR-dependent growth suppression will lead to more successful treatments for prostate cancer.

Fortier AM, Asselin E, Cadrin M
Keratin 8 and 18 loss in epithelial cancer cells increases collective cell migration and cisplatin sensitivity through claudin1 up-regulation.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(16):11555-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Keratins 8 and 18 (K8/18) are simple epithelial cell-specific intermediate filament proteins. Keratins are essential for tissue integrity and are involved in intracellular signaling pathways that regulate cell response to injuries, cell growth, and death. K8/18 expression is maintained during tumorigenesis; hence, they are used as a diagnostic marker in tumor pathology. In recent years, studies have provided evidence that keratins should be considered not only as markers but also as regulators of cancer cell signaling. The loss of K8/18 expression during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is associated with metastasis and chemoresistance. In the present study, we investigated whether K8/18 expression plays an active role in EMT. We show that K8/18 stable knockdown using shRNA increased collective migration and invasiveness of epithelial cancer cells without modulating EMT markers. K8/18-depleted cells showed PI3K/Akt/NF-κB hyperactivation and increased MMP2 and MMP9 expression. K8/18 deletion also increased cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Increased Fas receptor membrane targeting suggests that apoptosis is enhanced via the extrinsic pathway. Interestingly, we identified the tight junction protein claudin1 as a regulator of these processes. This is the first indication that modulation of K8/18 expression can influence the phenotype of epithelial cancer cells at a transcriptional level and supports the hypothesis that keratins play an active role in cancer progression.

Liu Y, Xing ZB, Zhang JH, Fang Y
Akt kinase targets the association of CBP with histone H3 to regulate the acetylation of lysine K18.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(7):847-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
CREB binding protein (CBP) is an acetyltransferase that plays an important role in many biological processes. Here, we show that Akt phosphorylates CBP at threonine 1871 and suppresses its acetyltransferase activity by impeding the binding of CBP to histone H3, which results in a decrease in lysine K18 acetylation and dysregulation of target genes. Our results demonstrate that Akt regulates acetyltransferase activity through CBP phosphorylation, which may contribute to tumorigenesis.

Li J, Cao D, Guo G, et al.
Expression and anatomical distribution of TIM-containing molecules in Langerhans cell sarcoma.
J Mol Histol. 2013; 44(2):213-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Signals from the T cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain (TIM)-containing molecules have been demonstrated to be involved in regulating the progress of carcinoma. However, the expression and anatomical distribution of TIMs in Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS), which is a rare malignancy derived from dendritic cells of the epidermis, has yet to be determined. In this study, the expression of TIM-1, TIM-3 and TIM-4 in LCS samples were detected by immunohistochemistry. Our results showed that these three molecules were found in LCS sections. At the cellular level, these molecules were found on the cell membrane and in the cytoplasm. Immunofluorescence double-staining demonstrated that these TIMs were co-expressed with Langerin, a potential biomarker for detecting LCS. In addition, TIM-1 was also expressed on CD68(+) macrophages and CK-18(+) epithelial cells, while TIM-3 and TIM-4 were expressed on all cell types investigated, including CD3(+)T cells, CD68(+) macrophages, CD11c(+) dendritic cells, CD16(+) NK Cells, CD31(+) endothelial cells and CK-18(+) epithelial cells. Interestingly, TIMs were also co-expressed with some members of the B7 superfamily, including B7-H1, B7-H3 and B7-H4 on sarcoma cells. Our results clearly showed the characteristic expression and anatomical distribution of TIMs in LCS, and a clear understanding of their functional roles may further elucidate the pathogenesis of this carcinoma and potentially contribute to the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies.

Borgna S, Armellin M, di Gennaro A, et al.
Mesenchymal traits are selected along with stem features in breast cancer cells grown as mammospheres.
Cell Cycle. 2012; 11(22):4242-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increasing evidence indicates that invasive properties of breast cancers rely on gain of mesenchymal and stem features, which has suggested that the dual targeting of these phenotypes may represent an appealing therapeutic strategy. It is known that the fraction of stem cells can be enriched by culturing breast cancer cells as mammospheres (MS), but whether these pro-stem conditions favor also the expansion of cells provided of mesenchymal features is still undefined. In the attempt to shed light on this issue, we compared the phenotypes of a panel of 10 breast cancer cell lines representative of distinct subtypes (luminal, HER2-positive, basal-like and claudin-low), grown in adherent conditions and as mammospheres. Under MS-proficient conditions, the increment in the fraction of stem-like cells was associated to upregulation of the mesenchymal marker Vimentin and downregulation of the epithelial markers expressed by luminal cells (E-cadherin, KRT18, KRT19, ESR1). Luminal cells tended also to upregulate the myoepithelial marker CD10. Taken together, our data indicate that MS-proficient conditions do favor mesenchymal/myoepithelial features, and indicate that the use of mammospheres as an in vitro tumor model may efficiently allow the exploitation of therapeutic approaches aimed at targeting aggressive tumors that have undergone epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

Usachov V, Nahon P, Lunova M, et al.
Keratin 8 variants are infrequent in patients with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis and do not associate with development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2012; 12:147 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Keratins 8/18 (K8/K18) are established hepatoprotective proteins and K8/K18 variants predispose to development and adverse outcome of multiple liver disorders. The importance of K8/K18 in alcoholic liver disease as well as in established cirrhosis remains unknown.
METHODS: We analyzed the K8 mutational hot-spots in 261 prospectively followed-up patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (mean follow-up 65 months). PCR-amplified samples were pre-screened by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and conspicuous samples were sequenced.
RESULTS: 67 patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 133 died. Fourteen patients harbored amino-acid-altering K8 variants (5xG62C, 8xR341H). The presence of K8 variants did not associate with development of HCC (log-rank=0.5) or death (log-rank=0.7) and no significant associations were obtained for the single K8 variants after a correction for multiple testing was performed.
CONCLUSIONS: Keratin variants are expressed in a low percentage of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and do not influence HCC development. Further studies conducted in larger prospective cohorts are needed to find out whether presence of K8 R341H variant predispose to non-HCC-related liver mortality.

Deng M, Zhang W, Tang H, et al.
Lactotransferrin acts as a tumor suppressor in nasopharyngeal carcinoma by repressing AKT through multiple mechanisms.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(36):4273-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
LTF (lactotransferrin, also known as lactoferrin) is a key component of innate immune defense. It has recently been found to have anti-tumor and anti-metastatic activity in different cancers. We previously reported LTF to be the most significantly downregulated gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) specimens relative to normal nasopharyngeal epithelial tissues, and it was also negatively associated with the progression and metastasis of NPC. However, the mechanism underlying this remains unclear. In the current study, we revealed that LTF can suppress 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 expression via the mitogen-activated protein kinase/c-Jun pathway and thus repress AKT signaling. We also showed that LTF interacts with keratin 18 (K18) and so blocks the formation of the K18-14-3-3 complex, leading to downregulation of K18-mediated AKT activation. Thus, LTF suppresses AKT signaling by two separate mechanisms, leading to inhibition of NPC tumorigenesis. This is the first report on the tumor suppressive effects of LTF through repression of AKT signaling in NPC. It suggests that both LTF and AKT signaling merit further study in the field of NPC research.

Kumar JM, Kombairaju P, Nagarajan P, et al.
Tamoxifen-resistant, ER-positive MAC 51 cell line with a high metastatic potential developed from a spontaneous breast cancer mouse model.
Cell Tissue Res. 2012; 350(2):347-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
We developed and characterized an estrogen-responsive and ER-positive murine breast cancer cell line (MAC51) from a spontaneous breast cancer animal model. These cells are overexpressed with K8, K18 and K19 proteins in an immunofluoresence assay. Upregulation of ER alpha was observed in the immunofluoresence assay, real-time PCR analysis and western blot assay. A colocalization experiment in MAC 51 showed cytoplasmic colocalization of K18 and K19 proteins with ER α. Real-time analysis of tumor samples from engrafted animals, MAC 51, metastatic liver and metastatic ovary revealed overexpression of K8 and K18 compared to the respective controls. A hormone responsive experiment in immunodeficient mice showed highly significant decreases in estrogen and tumor volume after 14 days ovariectomization. The tumorogenicity assay showed higher (3 × 10 (5)) and lower (3 × 10(4)) concentrations of MAC 51 cells that developed tumors within 2 weeks post-transplantation. Tumor morphology and histology resembled a sarcoma pattern but our spontaneous model appeared in an adenocarcinoma pattern. Metastasis to different organs occurred through hematogenous and lymphatic routes. We assessed the potency of the anticancer effect in MAC 51 cells by treating various anticancer drugs with E2, followed by studying apoptotic gene expression profiles. E2 and E2+ tamoxifen-treated cells showed upregulation of apoptotic genes caspase 1, 3, 9, P53 and Bcl-xl but the tamoxifen- and paclitaxel-treated cells did not upregulate the apoptotic genes. Tamoxifen-resistant, ER-positive and high metastatic potential cell lines from murine origin are very rare. Also, estrogen greatly induced apoptosis in this cell line, hence MAC 51 has a greater application potential to evaluate low doses of estrogen with other targeted therapeutic drugs to treat breast cancer.

Scribner KC, Behbod F, Porter WW
Regulation of DCIS to invasive breast cancer progression by Singleminded-2s (SIM2s).
Oncogene. 2013; 32(21):2631-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Singleminded-2s (SIM2s) is a member of the bHLH/PAS family of transcription factors and a key regulator of mammary epithelial cell differentiation. SIM2s is highly expressed in mammary epithelial cells and downregulated in human breast cancer. Loss of Sim2s causes aberrant mouse mammary ductal development, with features suggestive of malignant transformation, whereas overexpression of SIM2s promotes precocious alveolar differentiation in nulliparous mouse mammary glands, suggesting that SIM2s is required for establishing and enhancing mammary gland differentiation. To test the hypothesis that SIM2s regulates tumor cell differentiation, we analyzed SIM2s expression in human primary breast ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) samples and found that SIM2s is lost with progression from DCIS to invasive ductal cancer (IDC). Using a MCF10DCIS.COM progression model, we have shown that SIM2s expression is decreased in MCF10DCIS.COM cells compared with MCF10A cells, and reestablishment of SIM2s in MCF10DCIS.COM cells significantly inhibits growth and invasion both in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of tumors showed that SIM2s promoted a more differentiated tumor phenotype including the expression of a broad range of luminal markers (CSN2 (β-casein), CDH1 (E-cadherin), and KER18 (keratin-18)) and suppressed genes associated with stem cell maintenance and a basal phenotype (SMO (smoothened), p63, SLUG (snail-2), KER14 (keratin-14) and VIM (vimentin)). Furthermore, loss of SIM2s expression in MCF10DCIS.COM xenografts resulted in a more invasive phenotype and increased lung metastasis likely due to an increase in Hedgehog signaling and matrix metalloproteinase expression. Together, these exciting new data support a role for SIM2s in promoting human breast tumor differentiation and maintaining epithelial integrity.

Terada T
Primary small cell carcinoma of the maxillary sinus: a case report with immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study involving KIT and PDGFRA.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2012; 5(3):264-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Primary small cell carcinoma of the nose and paranasal sinuses is very rare; only a few reports are present in the English literature. The author herein reports a very rare case of primary small cell carcinoma of the maxillary sinus with an emphasis on immunohistochemistry and on KIT and PDGFRA. A 64-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of left nasal obstruction. Endoscopy revealed three nasal polyps, and imaging modalities revealed an infiltrative tumor (45 x 45 mm) in the left maxillary sinus with invasion into nasal cavity. Multiple biopsies are taken from the nasal lesions. Histologically, the tumor consists of proliferation of malignant small epithelioid cells with hyperchromatic nuclei, fine chromatin, scant cytoplasm, molded nuclei, and absent nucleoli. Immunohistochemically, the malignant cells were positive for cytokeratin (CK) 18, synaptophysin, CD56, p53, Ki-67 (labeling=95%), bcl-2, KIT, and PDGFRA. However, they were negative for pancytokeratins, high molecular weight CK, CK5/6, CK7, CK 14, CK 19, CK20, vimentin, neuron-specific enolase, chromogranin, CD15, CD45, S100 protein, CEA, CA19-9, glial fibrillary acidic protein, neurofilaments, neuroblastoma, CD99, surfactant apoprotein A, melanosome, and TTF-1. The pathologic diagnosis was small cell carcinoma. A molecular genetic analysis using PCR-direct sequencing was performed using paraffin sections, and it showed no mutations of KIT (exons 9, 11, 13, and 17) and PDGFRA (exons 12 and 18) genes. Imaging modalities including CT, MRI and PET did not reveal any tumors, including the lung, other than the maxillary sinus tumor. The present case is the first of small cell carcinoma of the maxillary sinus with a comprehensive immunohistochemical examination and a gene analysis of KIT and PDGFRA.

Szponar A, Kovacs G
Expression of KRT7 and WT1 differentiates precursor lesions of Wilms' tumours from those of papillary renal cell tumours and mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinomas.
Virchows Arch. 2012; 460(4):423-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms' tumours (WT) and adult papillary renal cell tumours (pRCT) are associated with precursor lesions of embryonic origin. The aim of this study was to analyse the expression of WT1, KRT7, KRT8, KRT18 and KRT19 genes by immunohistochemistry in 74 precursor lesions associated with WTs, pRCTs and mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinomas (MTSCC). All precursor lesions associated with Wilms' tumours were positive for WT1, whereas all precursor lesions in pRCT and MTSCC-bearing kidneys were negative. None of the WT-associated lesions were positive for KRT7, but 69-80% of lesions associated with pRCTs and MTSCCs were positive for KRT7. KRT8, KRT18 and KRT19 were found to be expressed in 80-100% of all types of precursor lesions. Our findings indicate that the precursor lesions analysed in this study are committed in an early stage of cellular differentiation to the development of either Wilms' tumours or papillary RCTs and MTSCCs.

Xu D, Liu X, Yu WM, et al.
Non-lineage/stage-restricted effects of a gain-of-function mutation in tyrosine phosphatase Ptpn11 (Shp2) on malignant transformation of hematopoietic cells.
J Exp Med. 2011; 208(10):1977-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activating mutations in protein tyrosine phosphatase 11 (Ptpn11) have been identified in childhood acute leukemias, in addition to juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), which is a myeloproliferative disorder (MPD). It is not clear whether activating mutations of this phosphatase play a causal role in the pathogenesis of acute leukemias. If so, the cell origin of leukemia-initiating stem cells (LSCs) remains to be determined. Ptpn11(E76K) mutation is the most common and most active Ptpn11 mutation found in JMML and acute leukemias. However, the pathogenic effects of this mutation have not been well characterized. We have created Ptpn11(E76K) conditional knock-in mice. Global Ptpn11(E76K/+) mutation results in early embryonic lethality. Induced knock-in of this mutation in pan hematopoietic cells leads to MPD as a result of aberrant activation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and myeloid progenitors. These animals subsequently progress to acute leukemias. Intriguingly, in addition to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL) and B-ALL are evolved. Moreover, tissue-specific knock-in of Ptpn11(E76K/+) mutation in lineage-committed myeloid, T lymphoid, and B lymphoid progenitors also results in AML, T-ALL, and B-ALL, respectively. Further analyses have revealed that Shp2 (encoded by Ptpn11) is distributed to centrosomes and that Ptpn11(E76K/+) mutation promotes LSC development, partly by causing centrosome amplification and genomic instability. Thus, Ptpn11(E76K) mutation has non-lineage-specific effects on malignant transformation of hematopoietic cells and initiates acute leukemias at various stages of hematopoiesis.

Chung J, Kee K, Barral JK, et al.
In vivo molecular MRI of cell survival and teratoma formation following embryonic stem cell transplantation into the injured murine myocardium.
Magn Reson Med. 2011; 66(5):1374-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have shown the potential to restore cardiac function after myocardial injury. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO) have been widely employed to label ESCs for cellular MRI. However, nonspecific intracellular accumulation of SPIO limits long-term in vivo assessment of the transplanted cells. To overcome this limitation, a novel reporter gene (RG) has been developed to express antigens on the ESC surface. By employing SPIO-conjugated monoclonal antibody against these antigens (SPIO-MAb), the viability of transplanted ESCs can be detected in vivo. This study aims to develop a new molecular MRI method to assess in vivo ESC viability, proliferation, and teratoma formation. The RG is designed to express 2 antigens (hemagglutinin A and myc) and luciferase on the ESC surface. The two antigens serve as the molecular targets for SPIO-MAb. The human and mouse ESCs were transduced with the RG (ESC-RGs) and transplanted into the peri-infarct area using the murine myocardial injury model. In vivo MRI was performed following serial intravenous administration of SPIO-MAb. Significant hypointense signal was generated from the viable and proliferating ESCs and subsequent teratoma. This novel molecular MRI technique enabled in vivo detection of early ESC-derived teratoma formation in the injured murine myocardium.

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