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Hum Pathol. 2002 May;33(5):536-44.

Nup88 (karyoporin) in human malignant neoplasms and dysplasias: correlations of immunostaining of tissue sections, cytologic smears, and immunoblot analysis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are elaborate macromolecular structures that regulate the bidirectional nucleocytoplasmic traffic system. In vertebrate cells, NPCs include a family of 50 to 100 proteins termed nucleoporins (Nups). The 88-kD Nup has been found to be linked in a dynamic subcomplex with the oncogenic CAN/Nup214. Applying a polyclonal antiserum to Nup88 on paraffin sections, we found that it immunoreacts with numerous malignant neoplasms. All carcinomas reacted irrespective of site, type, or degree of differentiation; often, high-grade carcinomas stained more strongly and extensively. Some sarcomas (e.g., fibrosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, liposarcomas, and rhabdomyosarcomas) reacted intensely; melanomas, gliomas, mesotheliomas, and malignant lymphomas also stained. In situ carcinomas of the colon, stomach, breast, and prostate stained convincingly, as did in situ melanomas; some samples of fetal tissues also reacted. Cytologic smears of some of the aforementioned tumors also stained. In selected samples, enhanced immunostaining of tissue sections and cytologic smears correlated strongly and consistently with immunoblot data. Immunoblots of the same tumors with antibodies to 2 other Nups (Nup214 and Nup153) showed no comparable enhancement. Therefore, it seems that in some malignant tumors, Nup88 overexpression is not parallelled by an overexpression of other Nups. Benign tumors, hyperplasias, and normal tissues showed weak and sporadic staining or absence of staining; immunoblots of the same samples yielded weak signals. Occasional highly proliferative hyperplastic-reactive processes showed focal staining. Thus, our correlative histologic, cytologic, and molecular data indicate that Nup88 may be viewed as a potentially useful, broadly based histodiagnostic and molecular marker of many malignancies and premalignant dysplasias, and further suggest that in some malignant tumors, Nup88 may be selectively overexpressed as compared with other Nups. Thus, we propose that Nup88 be designated as karyoporin.

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