Cancer Lett 2009 Mar 18;275(2):198-203. Epub 2008 Nov 18.
IZKF Laboratory for Microarray Applications, University of Würzburg, Germany.
In many human cancers, tumor progression was found to be associated with an altered expression of tetraspanins, a group of transmembrane adaptor proteins that are implicated in fundamental cellular processes. Although recognized as a characteristic of malignant cells of various origins, Tspan-1 has not yet been characterized in detail due to lack of specific antibodies. We describe the generation of Tspan-1-specific antibodies and immunohistochemical staining of different subtypes of ovarian carcinomas (n=72) that revealed significant differences in Tspan-1 expression that was pronounced in mucinous and endometrioid tumors. The observation that immunoreactivity was focused in intracellular vesicles often concentrated at the luminal sides of glandular structures further supported the assumption that Tspan-1 is involved in secretory pathways. In the group of serous ovarian carcinomas, pronounced expression of Tspan-1 was observed in FIGO stage III C-classified tumors of advanced stages. In summary, our results show that Tspan-1 is an important characteristic of malignant ovarian cancer cells and a potential therapeutic target.