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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Oct 19;288(1):129-36.

Human endomucin is an endothelial marker.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The identification of novel endothelial markers is important in the study of angiogenesis, and may have potential uses in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We have isolated potential markers of tumor angiogenesis by screening human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with tumor conditioned media. Using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), we found endomucin, a potential cell surface marker upregulated in this system. Human endomucin is predicted to encode a 261-aa, 27.5-kDa protein with a transmembrane sequence and multiple glycosylation sites. Northern and in situ hybridization studies show that human endomucin expression is largely, if not uniquely, endothelial cell-specific. Human endomucin is present abundantly in highly vascular tissues such as heart, kidney, and lung. It is seen in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) as well as in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs). Furthermore, its expression is increased when endothelial cells are proliferating or are stimulated by tumor-conditioned media or specific angiogenic factors such as bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor) and TNFalpha (tumor necrosis factor), suggesting that endomucin may have a role in tumor angiogenesis.

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