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

Differences in expression patterns of the tight junction proteins,claudin 1, 3, 4 and 5, in human ovarian surface epithelium as compared to epithelia in inclusion cysts and epithelial ovarian tumours.

Human ovarian surface epithelium (OSE), regarded as the precursor cell of epithelial ovarian adenocarcinoma, is not a fully developed epithelium when situated on the ovarian surface. It lacks epithelial characteristics such as the cell-cell adhesion factor epithelial (E)-cadherin, but as we have shown earlier, this OSE can form functional tight junctions (TJs) in culture. Recent gene-expression data on ovarian adenocarcinoma has pointed out a family of TJ proteins, the claudins, to be highly expressed in malignant compared to benign ovarian tumours. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution of claudin 1-5 proteins in cultured OSE (n=4), normal ovarian (n=11), benign (n=8), borderline (n=7) and ovarian cancer (n=22) tissues. We found that a weak or absence of expression of claudin 3 and claudin 4 in surface OSE changed to typical cell-border localisation in OSE of inclusion cysts in the normal ovarian stroma. Semiquantitative estimations of immunoblots showed that claudin 3 was significantly increased in ovarian adenocarcinomas compared to benign and borderline-type tumours. Claudin 4 was significantly increased in both borderline-type and ovarian adenocarcinomas compared to benign tumours, whereas no changes were found for claudin 1 or 5. Concerning relation to Federation for International Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, claudin 3, but not claudin 4, was significantly increased in moderately, poorly and undifferentiated adenocarcinomas compared to well-differentiated and borderline-type tumours. No significant changes were noticed for any claudin with regard to FIGO stages. We conclude that both claudin 3 and 4, even though they differ in expression during ovarian malignant transformation, might be used as novel markers for ovarian tumours. The observations of lack of claudin 4 and low expression of claudin 3 in OSE strengthen our current knowledge about the biological nature of these cells as an undeveloped epithelium.[1]


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