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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

TC21/R-Ras2 upregulation in esophageal tumorigenesis: potential diagnostic implications.

OBJECTIVES: Early detection of esophageal cancer is hampered by paucity of molecular markers for diagnosis of this aggressive gastrointestinal malignancy in early stages. We recently identified TC21/R-Ras2, a small GTP-binding protein ( SMG) in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) by differential display. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that differential expression of TC21 in normal, dysplastic and malignant esophageal tissues may be of clinical relevance in esophageal tumorigenesis. METHODS: Immunohistochemical analysis of TC21 was carried out in 83 ESCCs, 37 dysplasias and 29 matched histologically normal esophageal tissues and correlated with clinicopathological parameters. The cellular localization of TC21 was determined by confocal microscopy. RESULTS: Expression of TC21 protein was observed in 60/83 (73%) ESCCs predominantly localized in tumor nuclei. Intriguingly, intense TC21 immunoreactivity was observed in all endoscopic biopsies with histological evidence of dysplasia (16 cases) as well as in dysplastic areas distant to ESCCs (21 cases), while matched distant histologically normal epithelia did not show detectable TC21 expression. Immunoblotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR confirmed TC21 expression in dysplastias and ESCCs. Confocal microscopy showed nuclear as well as cytoplasmic TC21 expression in ESCCs and TE13 cells. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating differential expression of TC21 in normal, dysplastic and ESCC tissues, suggesting that TC21 expression is associated with early stages of esophageal tumorigenesis. Nuclear localization of TC21 makes it the third of over 100 small SMGs identified to be localized in the nucleus.[1]


  1. TC21/R-Ras2 upregulation in esophageal tumorigenesis: potential diagnostic implications. Sharma, R., Sud, N., Chattopadhyay, T.K., Ralhan, R. Oncology (2005) [Pubmed]
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