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Br J Cancer. Dec 2000; 83(12): 1722–1729.
PMCID: PMC2363441

HERG potassium channels are more frequently expressed in human endometrial cancer as compared to non-cancerous endometrium

Abstract

HERG K+channels, besides contributing to regulate cardiac and neuronal excitability, are preferentially expressed in tumour cell lines of different histogenesis, where their role in the development and maintenance of the neoplastic phenotype is under study. We show here that both herg gene and HERG protein are expressed with high frequency in primary human endometrial cancers, as compared to normal and hyperplastic endometrium. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, using specific anti-HERG antibodies developed in our laboratory, were applied to tissue specimens obtained from 18 endometrial cancers and 11 non-cancerous endometrial tissues. herg RNA and HERG protein are expressed in 67% and 82%, respectively, of cancerous, while in only 18% of non-cancerous tissues. In particular, no expression was found in endometrial hyperplasia. Moreover, electrophysiological experiments confirmed the presence of functioning HERG channels on the plasma membrane of tumour cells. On the whole, these data are the first demonstration of the presence of HERG channels in primary human neoplasias, and could candidate HERG as a potential tool capable of marking cancerous versus hyperplastic endometrial growth. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com

Keywords:  HERG, endometrial cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, tumour markers, K+channels

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Selected References

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