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Eur J Biochem. 2003 Mar;270(6):1089-101.

Enhanced expression of Mcm proteins in cancer cells derived from uterine cervix.

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Mitsubishi Kagaku Institute of Life Sciences, Machida, Tokyo, Japan.


Minichromosome maintenance proteins (Mcm) 2-7 play essential roles in eukaryotic DNA replication. Several reports have indicated the usefulness of Mcm proteins as markers of cancer cells in histopathological diagnosis. However, their mode of expression and pathophysiological significance in cancer cells remain to be clarified. We compared the level of expression of Mcm proteins among human HeLa uterine cervical carcinoma cells, SV40-transformed human fibroblast GM00637 cells and normal human fibroblast WI-38 cells. All the proteins examined were detected in HeLa and GM cells at 6-10 times the level found in WI-38 cells on average. This increase was observed both in total cellular proteins and in the chromatin-bound fraction. Consistently, Mcm2 mRNA was enriched in HeLa cells to approximately four times the level in WI-38 cells, and the synthesis of Mcm4, 6 and 7 proteins was accelerated in HeLa cells. Immunohistochemical studies of surgical materials from human uterine cervix showed that Mcm3 and 4 are ubiquitously expressed in cancer cells. Further, the positive rate and level of Mcm3 and 4 expression appeared to be higher in cancer cells than in normal proliferating cells of the uterine cervix and dysplastic cells, suggesting that they can be useful markers to distinguish these cells.

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