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Br J Cancer. 2008 Aug 5;99(3):491-501. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604486. Epub 2008 Jul 22.

Identification of claudin-4 as a marker highly overexpressed in both primary and metastatic prostate cancer.

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Department of Surgery, University of Queensland, Herston, Qld, Australia.


In the quest for markers of expression and progression for prostate cancer (PCa), the majority of studies have focussed on molecular data exclusively from primary tumours. Although expression in metastases is inferred, a lack of correlation with secondary tumours potentially limits their applicability diagnostically and therapeutically. Molecular targets were identified by examining expression profiles of prostate cell lines using cDNA microarrays. Those genes identified were verified on PCa cell lines and tumour samples from both primary and secondary tumours using real-time RT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Claudin-4, coding for an integral membrane cell-junction protein, was the most significantly (P<0.00001) upregulated marker in both primary and metastatic tumour specimens compared with benign prostatic hyperplasia at both RNA and protein levels. In primary tumours, claudin-4 was more highly expressed in lower grade (Gleason 6) lesions than in higher grade (Gleason >or=7) cancers. Expression was prominent throughout metastases from a variety of secondary sites in fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed specimens from both androgen-intact and androgen-suppressed patients. As a result of its prominent expression in both primary and secondary PCas, together with its established role as a receptor for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, claudin-4 may be useful as a potential marker and therapeutic target for PCa metastases.

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