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Cell Biol Toxicol. 2002;18(2):87-96.

Enhanced expression of a novel protein in human cancer cells: a potential aid to cancer diagnosis.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016, USA.


Cap43 is a protein whose RNA is induced under conditions of severe hypoxia or prolonged elevations of intracellular calcium. Cap43 protein is expressed at low levels in normal tissues; however, in a variety of cancers, including lung, brain, melanoma, liver, prostate, breast, and renal cancers, Cap43 protein is overexpressed in cancer cells. The low level of expression of Cap43 in some normal tissues compared to their cancerous counterparts combined with the high stability of Cap43 protein and mRNA makes the Cap43 gene a new, important cancer marker. We hypothesize that the mechanism of Cap43 overexpression in cancer cells involves a state of hypoxia characteristic of cancer cells where the Cap43 protein becomes a signature for this hypoxic state.

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