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H̱olon, Israel

Amsterdam A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Shezen E.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Raanan C.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Schreiber L.,Wolfson Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2012

Synuclein α, β and γ are proteins usually found in neurodegenerative diseases. However, interestingly synucleins are expressed in cancer cells of several organs including ovary, mammary gland and colon. By immunocytochemistry using specific antibodies to γ synuclein (SNCG), we examined the distribution of this protein in poorly differentiated, compared to highly differentiated colon cancer cells. In poorly differentiated cancer cells tumors were very frequently stained intensely with antibodies to SNGG, suggesting high expression of this protein. In contrast, in highly differentiated cells, there was no labeling. Labeled cells could be found only at the edges or in between the lobules of the differentiated tumor cells. However, in moderately differentiated tumors, a weak cytoplasmic staining of SNCG was evident. Interestingly in cancer patients (stage II-IV) both poorly and highly differentiated tumor cells were often present in the same patient. Labeled cancer cells with SNCG were evident also in lymph nodes, around the wall of blood vessels and in fat tissue, where only poorly differentiated cancer cells were exclusively present. Since cancer cells with poor differentiation are believed to be aggressive with metastases formation it is suggested that SNCG can serve as a marker for the potential of the tumor cell for the rapid spreading and metastazing of the non-differentiated tumors. Source

Schreiber L.,Wolfson Hospital | Raanan C.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Amsterdam A.,Weizmann Institute of Science
Acta Histochemica | Year: 2014

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer. There is a general debate whether ovarian cancer is an intrinsic or an imported disease. We investigated whether in normal morphological appearance and in early stages of ovarian tumorgenesis typical cancer cell markers such as CD24 and Nanog are expressed. In 25% of normal appearing ovaries of post-menopausal women there was co-localization of CD24 and Nanog in the walls of the ovarian cysts, leaving the epithelial cells on the surface of these ovaries free of Nanog or CD24 expression. In benign ovarian tumors 37% of specimens were positive to CD24 and Nanog labeling while 26% of them were localized in the cyst walls. In contrast, in serous borderline tumors 79% specimens were labeled with CD24, 42% of them were localized in cysts and in 32% of them showed co-localization with CD24 and Nanog was evident: the rest were labeled in the ovarian epithelial cells. In serous ovarian carcinomas 81% specimens were labeled with CD24 antibodies. In 45% of them co-localization with Nanog was evident in the bulk of the cancerous tissue. In mucinous carcinomas no labeling with CD24 or Nanog was evident. In view of the synergistic effect of CD24 and Nanog expressed in malignant cancer development in other systems, it is suggested that such an analysis can be valuable for early detection of ovarian cancer. Moreover, the abundance of these markers in cysts in the development of ovarian cancer may suggest that they present an intrinsic source of the development of the highly malignant disease. Finally, since CD24 is exposed on the surface of the cancer cells, it may be highly beneficial to target these cells with antibodies to CD24 conjugated to cytotoxic drugs for more efficient treatment of this malignant disease. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Amsterdam A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Raanan C.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Schreiber L.,Wolfson Hospital | Polin N.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Givol D.,Weizmann Institute of Science
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2013

Pancreas cancer, is the fourth leading cause of cancer death but its cell of origin is controversial. We compared the localization of stem cells in normal and cancerous pancreas using antibodies to the stem cell markers Nanog and LGR5. Here we show, for the first time, that LGR5 is expressed in normal pancreas, exclusively in the islets of Langerhans and it is co-localized, surprisingly, with Nanog and insulin in clusters of beta cells. In cancerous pancreas Nanog and LGR5 are expressed in the remaining islets and in all ductal cancer cells. We observed insulin staining among the ductal cancer cells, but not in metastases. This indicates that the islet's beta cells, expressing LGR5 and Nanog markers are the initiating cells of pancreas cancer, which migrated from the islets to form the ductal cancerous tissue, probably after mutation and de-differentiation. This discovery may facilitate treatment of this devastating cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Amsterdam A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Raanan C.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Schreiber L.,Wolfson Hospital | Freyhan O.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 2 more authors.
Acta Histochemica | Year: 2013

LGR5 and Nanog were recently characterized as stem cell markers in various embryonic, adult and cancer stem cells. However, there are no data on their precise localization in the normal adult ovary, which may be important for the initial steps of development of ovarian cancer, the most lethal gynecological cancer. We analyzed by immunocytochemistry the precise localization of these markers in normal ovary (11 specimens, age range 43-76), in borderline specimens (12 specimens), and in serous ovarian cancer (12 specimens of stage II) which comprises the vast majority (80%) of all ovarian cancer. Surprisingly, we revealed that both Nanog and LGR5 are clearly localized in the epithelial cells of the normal ovary. However, in 5 of 12 ovaries there was no labeling at all, while in 3 ovaries staining of Nanog was more prominent with only weak labeling of LGR5. In addition, we found in 3 of 11 ovaries clear labeling in foci of both LGR5 and Nanog antibodies, with partial overlapping. Occasionally, we also found in the stroma foci labeled by either Nanog or LGR5 antibodies. In general, the stroma area of tissue sections labeled with LGR5 was much greater than that labeled with Nanog. In borderline tumors a significant portion of the specimens (7 of 12) was labeled exclusively with Nanog and not with LGR5. In ovarian carcinomas almost 100% of the cells were exclusively labeled only with Nanog (6 of 12 of the specimens) with no labeling of LGR5. These data may suggest the potential of ovaries from postmenopausal women, which express Nanog, to undergo transformation, since Nanog was shown to be oncogenic. We conclude that Nanog, which probably plays an important role in ovarian embryonic development, may be partially silenced in fertile and post-menopausal women, but is re-expressed in ovarian cancer, probably by epigenetic activation of Nanog gene expression. Expression of Nanog and LGR5 in normal ovaries and in borderline tumors may assist in the early detection and improved prognosis of ovarian cancer. Moreover, targeting of Nanog by inhibitory miRNA or other means may assist in treating this disease. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Amsterdam A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Shezen E.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Raanan C.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Slilat Y.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2011

Epiregulin (Ep) was found to be produced in non-cancer ovarian cells in response to gonadotropin stimulation as well in ovarian cancer cells in an autonomous manner. However, there were no systematic follow-up studies of Ep expression in the development of different stages of ovarian cancer. Using specific antibodies to Ep and the indirect immunocytochemistry methods, we found that in normal ovary the staining for Ep was mainly confined to the epithelial cells, while the stromal cells were only occasionally and moderately stained. In contrast in benign serous and mucinous tumors most of the tumor cells showed a clear staining in the cytoplasm. In borderline serous and mucinous tumors the staining was much more intensive, and appear occasionally in aggregated form. In serous, mucinous and endometrioid carcinomas labeling remain high, with more frequent aggregated form. It is suggested that follow-up of the expression of Ep can serve as a reliable early indication of the development of ovarian cancer. Moreover, the cytoplasmic aggregation of Ep may suggest a specific mechanism of the release of this growth factor to the extracellular space in order to exert its autocrine and paracrine effect on the family of the EGF receptors. Source

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