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Br J Cancer. 2001 Jul 20;85(2):261-5.

The distribution and expression of the Bloom's syndrome gene product in normal and neoplastic human cells.

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Department of Cellular Science, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, UK.


Bloom's syndrome (BS) is an autosomal recessive disorder associated with a predisposition to cancers of all types. Cells from BS sufferers display extreme genomic instability. The BS gene product, BLM, is a 159 kDa DNA helicase enzyme belonging to the RecQ family. Here, we have analysed the distribution of BLM in normal and tumour tissues from humans using a recently characterized, specific monoclonal antibody. BLM was found to be localized to nuclei in normal lymphoid tissues, but was largely absent from other normal tissues analysed with the exception of the proliferating compartment of certain tissues. In contrast, expression of BLM was observed in a variety of tumours of both lymphoid and epithelial origin. A strong correlation was observed between expression of BLM and the proliferative status of cells, as determined by staining for markers of cell proliferation (PCNA and Ki67). We conclude that BLM is a proliferation marker in normal and neoplastic cells in vivo, and, as a consequence, is expressed at a higher level in tumours than in normal quiescent tissues.

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