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      Claudin-containing exosomes in the peripheral circulation of women with ovarian cancer

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          Abstract

          Background

          The absence of highly sensitive and specific serum biomarkers makes mass screening for ovarian cancer impossible. The claudin proteins are frequently overexpressed in ovarian cancers, but their potential as prognostic, diagnostic, or detection markers remains unclear. Here, we have explored the possible use of these proteins as screening biomarkers for ovarian cancer detection.

          Methods

          Claudin protein shedding from cells was examined by immunoblotting of conditioned culture media. The presence of claudins in exosomes released from ovarian cancer cells was demonstrated by sucrose gradient separation and immunogold electron microscopy experiments. Claudin-4-containing exosomes in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients were evaluated in a pilot panel of 63 ovarian cancer patients and 50 healthy volunteers. The CA125 marker was also assessed in these samples and compared with claudin-4 positivity.

          Results

          We show that full-length claudins can be shed from ovarian cancer cells in culture and found in the media as part of small lipid vesicles known as exosomes. Moreover, 32 of 63 plasma samples from ovarian cancer patients exhibited the presence of claudin-4-containing exosomes. In contrast, only one of 50 samples from individuals without cancer exhibited claudin-4-positive exosomes. In our small panel, at a specificity of 98%, the claudin-4 and CA125 tests had sensitivities of 51% and 71%, respectively. The two tests did not appear to be independent and were strongly correlated.

          Conclusion

          Our work shows for the first time that claudin-4 can be released from ovarian cancer cells and can be detected in the peripheral circulation of ovarian cancer patients. The development of sensitive assays for the detection of claudin-4 in blood will be crucial in determining whether this approach can be useful, alone or in combination with other screening methods, for the detection of ovarian cancer.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Cancer Statistics, 2008

           A. Jemal,  R. Siegel,  E. Ward (2008)
          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and death rates are age-standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,437,180 new cancer cases and 565,650 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2008. Notable trends in cancer incidence and mortality include stabilization of incidence rates for all cancer sites combined in men from 1995 through 2004 and in women from 1999 through 2004 and a continued decrease in the cancer death rate since 1990 in men and since 1991 in women. Overall cancer death rates in 2004 compared with 1990 in men and 1991 in women decreased by 18.4% and 10.5%, respectively, resulting in the avoidance of over a half million deaths from cancer during this time interval. This report also examines cancer incidence, mortality, and survival by site, sex, race/ethnicity, education, geographic area, and calendar year, as well as the proportionate contribution of selected sites to the overall trends. Although much progress has been made in reducing mortality rates, stabilizing incidence rates, and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons under age 85 years. Further progress can be accelerated by supporting new discoveries and by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population.
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            Malignant effusions and immunogenic tumour-derived exosomes.

            Exosomes derived from tumours are small vesicles released in vitro by tumour cell lines in culture supernatants. To assess the role of these exosomes in vivo, we examined malignant effusions for their presence. We also investigated whether these exosomes could induce production of tumour-specific T cells when pulsed with dendritic cells. We isolated exosomes by ultracentrifugation on sucrose and D(2)O gradients of 11 malignant effusions. We characterised exosomes with Western blot analyses, immunoelectron microscopy, and in-vitro stimulations of autologous T lymphocytes. Malignant effusions accumulate high numbers of membrane vesicles that have a mean diameter of 80 nm (SD 30). These vesicles have antigen-presenting molecules (MHC class-I heat-shock proteins), tetraspanins (CD81), and tumour antigens (Her2/Neu, Mart1, TRP, gp100). These criteria, including their morphological characteristics, indicate the similarities between these vesicles and exosomes. Exosomes from patients with melanoma deliver Mart1 tumour antigens to dendritic cells derived from monocytes (MD-DCs) for cross presentation to clones of cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific to Mart1. In seven of nine patients with cancer, lymphocytes specific to the tumour could be efficiently expanded from peripheral blood cells by pulsing autologous MD-DCs with autologous ascitis exosomes. In one patient tested, we successfully expanded a restricted T-cell repertoire, which could not be recovered carcinomatosis nodules. Exosomes derived from tumours accumulate in ascites from patients with cancer. Ascitis exosomes are a natural and new source of tumour-rejection antigens, opening up new avenues for immunisation against cancers.
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              Claudin proteins in human cancer: promising new targets for diagnosis and therapy.

              The tight junction proteins claudins are abnormally regulated in several human cancers. In particular, claudin-3 and claudin-4 are frequently overexpressed in several neoplasias, including ovarian, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. Although the exact roles of these proteins in tumorigenesis are still being uncovered, it is clear that they represent promising targets for cancer detection, diagnosis, and therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Cancer
                BMC Cancer
                BioMed Central
                1471-2407
                2009
                20 July 2009
                : 9
                : 244
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD, USA
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
                [3 ]Department of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
                [4 ]Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA
                Article
                1471-2407-9-244
                10.1186/1471-2407-9-244
                2719664
                19619303
                Copyright ©2009 Li et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

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