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Histochem Cell Biol. 2012 Jul;138(1):141-54. doi: 10.1007/s00418-012-0953-0. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

The C-terminal fragment of the immunoproteasome PA28S (Reg alpha) as an early diagnosis and tumor-relapse biomarker: evidence from mass spectrometry profiling.

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Laboratoire de Spectrométrie de Masse Biologique Fondamentale et Appliquée, Université Nord de France, EA 4550, Université de Lille 1, Cité Scientifique, 59650 Villeneuve D'Ascq, France.


This study reports on the C-terminal fragment of the 11S proteasome activator complex (PA28 or Reg alpha), a novel ovarian-specific biomarker of early and late stages of ovarian cancer (OVC) relapse, in patient biopsies after chemotherapy. A total of 179 tissue samples were analyzed: 8 stage I, 55 stage III-IV, 10 relapsed serous carcinomas, 25 mucinous carcinomas and 12 borderline and 68 benign ovarian tissue samples. This fragment was detected by MALDI mass spectrometry profiling in conjunction with a novel extraction method using hexafluoroisopropanol (1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol; HFIP) solvents for protein solubilization and by immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody directed against the C-terminal fragment of PA28. Due to its specific cellular localization, this fragment is a suitable candidate for early OVC diagnosis, patient prognosis and follow-up during therapy and discriminating borderline cancers. Statistical analyses performed for this marker at different OVC stages reflect a prevalence of 77.66 ± 8.77 % (with a correlation coefficient value p < 0.001 of 0.601 between OVC and benign tissue). This marker presents a prevalence of 88 % in the case of tumor relapse and is detected at 80.5 % in stage I and 81.25 % ± 1.06 in stage III-IV of OVC. The correlation value for the different OVC stages is p < 0.001 of 0.998. Taken together, this report constitutes the first evidence of a novel OVC-specific marker.

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