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Cytopathology. 2011 Feb;22(1):22-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2303.2010.00757.x.

PINCH-2 expression in cancers involving serosal effusions using quantitative PCR.

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  • 1Division of Pathology, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



The PINCH-2 gene was previously shown to be overexpressed in malignant mesothelioma compared with ovarian/peritoneal serous carcinoma in Affymetrix array analysis. The objective of the present study was to validate this finding at the mRNA and protein level.


Effusions (n = 91; 71 ovarian and 10 breast carcinomas, 10 malignant mesotheliomas) were assayed for PINCH-2 mRNA expression using quantitative PCR. PINCH-2 protein expression was analysed in 37 effusions using flow cytometry.


Quantitative PCR analysis showed significantly higher PINCH-2 mRNA levels in mesotheliomas compared with carcinomas (P = 0.004). Values of <10 copies were found exclusively in carcinoma effusions (25.4% of ovarian and 50% of breast carcinomas). However, PINCH-2 protein expression by flow cytometry did not differ significantly between the three cancer types. No association was observed between PINCH-2 levels and patient survival or expression of previously-studied molecules related to adhesion, metastasis and apoptosis inhibition in ovarian carcinoma.


Our data suggest that PINCH-2 mRNA is overexpressed in malignant mesothelioma compared with carcinomas involving serosal cavities, and that low levels of this gene argue against the diagnosis of mesothelioma. The frequent PINCH-2 protein expression in all three studied cancers suggests a role for this molecule in cancer cell biology in effusions and merits further research.

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