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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1998 Sep;89(9):879-82.

Expression of uroplakin Ib and uroplakin III genes in tissues and peripheral blood of patients with transitional cell carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu.


Uroplakins (UPs), urothelium-specific transmembrane proteins, are present only in urothelial cells. We have determined the nucleotide sequences of human UP-Ib and UP-III and synthesized specific primer pairs. The two UP genes were expressed in both cancerous and noncancerous urothelial taken from all patients examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These genes were also detected in the peripheral blood of 3 patients with metastatic transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), but not in that from 9 patients with non-metastatic TCC or 3 healthy volunteers. The sensitivity of our assay was sufficient to detect one cancer cell in 5 ml of peripheral blood. Detection of UP gene-expression in blood by RT-PCR may provide helpful information for the diagnosis and management of TCC.

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