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Br J Cancer. 2002 Jun 5;86(11):1824-30.

Serological identification and expression analysis of gastric cancer-associated genes.

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  • 1Biomedical Research and Study Centre, University of Latvia, 1 Ratsupites St, LV-1067, Riga, Latvia.


Serological identification of tumour antigens by recombinant expression cloning has proved to be an effective strategy for the identification of cancer-associated genes having a relevance to cancer aetiology and progression, and for defining possible targets for immunotherapeutic intervention. In the present study we applied this technique to identify immunogenic proteins for gastric cancer that resulted in isolation of 14 distinct serum-reactive antigens. In order to evaluate their role in tumourigenesis and assess the immunogenicity of the identified antigens, we characterised each cDNA clone by DNA sequence analysis, mRNA tissue distribution, comparison of mRNA levels in cancerous and adjacent non-cancerous tissues and the frequency of antibody responses in allogeneic patient and control sera. Previously unknown splice variants of TACC1 and an uncharacterised gene Ga50 were identified. The expression of a newly identified TACC1 isoform is restricted to brain and gastric cancer tissues. Comparison of mRNA levels by semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed a relative overexpression of three genes in cancer tissues, including growth factor granulin and Tbdn-1--an orthologue of the mouse acetyltransferase gene which is associated with blood vessel development. An unusual DNA polymorphism--a three-nucleotide deletion was found in NUCB2 cDNA but its mRNA level was consistently decreased in gastric tumours compared with that in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. This study has revealed several new gastric cancer candidate genes; additional studies are required to gain a deeper insight into their role in the tumorigenesis and their potential as therapeutic targets.

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