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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;617:331-9. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-69080-3_31.

In silico and in vitro analysis of small breast epithelial mucin as a marker for bone marrow micrometastasis in breast cancer.

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PINAR 6 BIS 4G, Madrid, Spain.


Molecular signatures associated with malignant phenotype would be useful for detection of micrometastatic carcinoma cells. The small breast epithelial mucin (SBEM) gene is predicted to code for a low molecular weight glycoprotein. To evaluate its potential role as a marker for bone marrow (BM) micrometastasis in breast cancer (BC) patients, we have studied in silico and in vitro expression profiles of SBEM gene. Digital SBEM expression in libraries obtained from normal and neoplastic tissues and cell-lines (CL) were displayed and counted on the SAGE Anatomic Viewer. Profiles for cytokeratin-19 and mammaglobin (hMAM), commonly targets used for detection of disseminated BC cells were obtained and compared with SBEM data. Human breast and haematopoietic cancer CL and normal BM were examined by RT-PCR for SBEM and hMAM. Bioinformatics tools were used to gain further insights about the biological role of SBEM in normal breast and BC. Genes with expression patterns in breast libraries correlating with SBEM were identified using two-dimensional display. SBEM tag was detected in 40 libraries (21 BC; 8 non-cancerous breast tissues). Intermediate to high expression was found on 15/21 BC libraries and 7/8 non-tumor breast tissue. SBEM tag count was correlated with ERBB2 (0.662), hMAM (0.409), and RRM2 (-0.379). A model system based on RT-PCR for SBEM mRNA was highly sensitive and specific in order to detect isolated tumor cells. Our results demonstrate that SBEM mRNA may be an imp ortant marker for targeting BC micrometastasis.

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