Expression profiles of MUC1, MUC2, and MUC4 mucins in human neoplasms and their relationship with biological behavior

Authors

  • Suguru Yonezawa Professor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
    • Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8544, Japan Fax: +81-99-265-7235
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  • Masamichi Goto,

    1. Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
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  • Norishige Yamada,

    1. Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
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  • Michiyo Higashi,

    1. Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
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  • Mitsuharu Nomoto

    1. Department of Human Pathology, Field of Oncology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan
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Abstract

Mucins are high molecular weight glycoproteins that play important roles in carcinogenesis or tumor invasion. To clarify the relationship of the expression patterns of mucins in human neoplasms with their biological behavior, we examined the expression profiles of MUC1, MUC2, and MUC4 mucins in various human neoplasms using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, and compared them with clinicopathologic factors including outcome of the patients. MUC1 or MUC4 expression is related with the aggressive behavior of human neoplasms and a poor outcome of the patients. In contrast, MUC2 expression tends to be related with the indolent behavior of human neoplasms and a favorable outcome of the patients, although indolent pancreatobiliary neoplasms sometimes show invasive growth with MUC1 expression in the invasive areas. The expression of MUC2 mucin in indolent pancreatobiliary neoplasms coincided with expression of MUC2 mRNA. Our recent studies to clarify the MUC2 gene regulation mechanism disclosed that DNA methylation and histone modification in the 5′ flanking region of the MUC2 promoter may play an important role. Further studies of the epigenetics also in MUC1 and MUC4 gene expression may be needed to understand the relationship between the expression of mucins in human neoplasms with their biological behavior.

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