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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jul 1;10(13):4472-9.

The A3 adenosine receptor is highly expressed in tumor versus normal cells: potential target for tumor growth inhibition.

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  • 1Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd., Kiryat-Matalon, Petach-Tikva, Israel.



A(3) adenosine receptor (A(3)AR) activation was shown to inhibit the growth of various tumor cells via the down-regulation of nuclear factor kappaB and cyclin D1. To additionally elucidate whether A(3)AR is a specific target, a survey of its expression in tumor versus adjacent normal cells was conducted.


A(3)AR mRNA expression in various tumor tissues was tested in paraffin-embedded slides using reverse transcription-PCR analysis. A comparison with A(3)AR expression in the relevant adjacent normal tissue or regional lymph node metastasis was performed. In addition, A(3)AR protein expression was studied in fresh tumors and was correlated with that of the adjacent normal tissue.


Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of colon and breast carcinoma tissues showed higher A(3)AR expression in the tumor versus adjacent non-neoplastic tissue or normal tissue. Additional analysis revealed that the lymph node metastasis expressed even more A(3)AR mRNA than the primary tumor tissue. Protein analysis of A(3)AR expression in fresh tumors derived from colon (n = 40) or breast (n = 17) revealed that 61% and 78% had higher A(3)AR expression in the tumor versus normal adjacent tissue, respectively. The high A(3)AR expression level in the tumor tissues was associated with elevated nuclear factor kappaB and cyclin D1 levels. High A(3)AR mRNA expression was also demonstrated in other solid tumor types.


Primary and metastatic tumor tissues highly express A(3)AR indicating that high receptor expression is a characteristic of solid tumors. These findings and our previous data suggest A(3)AR as a potential target for tumor growth inhibition.

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