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Oncogene. 2003 Oct 16;22(46):7225-32.

Characterization of novel human ovarian cancer-specific transcripts (HOSTs) identified by serial analysis of gene expression.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


A better understanding of changes in gene expression during ovarian tumorigenesis and the identification of specific tumor markers may lead to novel strategies for diagnosis and therapy for this disease. Using our serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) data, as well as public SAGE databases that contained a total of 137 SAGE libraries representing a wide variety of normal and neoplastic tissues, we identified five novel SAGE tags specifically expressed in ovarian cancer. Database analysis, cloning and, sequencing of the corresponding expressed sequence tags revealed details about these transcripts that we named human ovarian cancer-specific transcripts (HOSTs). HOST1 was found to be identical to the gene encoding ovarian marker CA125 (MUC16). HOST2 is a novel gene containing multiple copies of retroviral-related sequences without an obvious open reading frame. HOST3 encodes the tight-junction protein claudin-16 (CLDN16). HOST4 encodes a poorly characterized proteoglycan link protein (LP), and HOST5 codes for a type II sodium-dependent phosphate transporter (SLC34A2). Except for MUC16, these genes have not previously been shown to be expressed in ovarian or other cancers. Northern blot analysis confirmed that HOST genes are rarely expressed in normal tissues or nonovarian cancers, but are frequently expressed in ovarian cancer-derived cell lines and primary tumors. Moreover, HOST genes are upregulated in all four major subtypes of ovarian cancer compared to cultivated ovarian surface epithelial cells, as concluded by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using a panel of microdissected ovarian tumors. The sodium-dependent phosphate transporter (HOST5/SLC34A2) expression was associated with increased differentiation in ovarian serous tumors. While the roles of HOSTs in ovarian malignant transformation remain unclear, we propose that HOSTs may represent alternative targets for diagnosis and therapy and of this deadly disease.

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