Gene Summary

Gene:MUC6; mucin 6, oligomeric mucus/gel-forming
Aliases: MUC-6
Summary:The MUC6 gene encodes gastric mucin, a secreted glycoprotein that plays an essential role in epithelial cytoprotection from acid, proteases, pathogenic microorganisms, and mechanical trauma in the gastrointestinal tract (summary by Toribara et al., 1993 [PubMed 7680650]).[supplied by OMIM, Dec 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Gastric Mucosa
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Chromosome 11
  • Messenger RNA
  • Mutation
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Mucin-2
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Mucinous Adenocarcinoma
  • Neprilysin
  • Gastric Mucins
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Mucin-6
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Phenotype
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Young Adult
  • Mucins
  • Uterine Diseases
  • Disease Progression
  • Transcription
  • Adenoma
  • Mucin 5AC
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tumor Markers
  • Prostate Cancer
  • MUC1
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Gene Expression
  • Staging
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • p53 Protein
  • Survival Rate
  • Protein Binding
  • beta Catenin
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MUC6 (cancer-related)

Liszka L
Ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas usually retained SMAD4 and p53 protein status as well as expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers and cell cycle regulators at the stage of liver metastasis.
Pol J Pathol. 2014; 65(2):100-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
There are limited data on the biology of metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The aim of the present study was to compare the expression of immunohistochemical markers that may be involved in the development of metastatic disease in primary PDAC and in synchronous liver metastatic tissues. Thirty-two stains (corresponding to proteins encoded by 31 genes: SMAD4, TP53, ACTA2, CDH1, CDKN1A, CLDN1, CLDN4, CLDN7, CTNNB1, EGFR, ERBB2, FN1, KRT19, MAPK1/MAPK3, MAPK14, MKI67, MMP2, MMP9, MUC1 (3 antibodies), MUC5AC, MUC6, MTOR, MYC, NES, PTGS2, RPS6, RPS6KB1, TGFB1, TGFBR1, VIM) were evaluated using tissue microarray of 26 pairs of primary PDACs and their liver metastases. There were no significant differences in expression levels of examined proteins between primary and secondary lesions. In particular, metastatic PDAC retained the primary tumour's SMAD4 protein status in all and p53 protein status in all but one case. This surprising homogeneity also involved expression levels of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition as well as cell cycle regulators studied. In conclusion, the biological profiles of primary PDACs and their liver metastases seemed to be similar. Molecular alterations of PDAC related to a set of immunohistochemical markers examined in the present study were already present at the stage of localized disease.

Ito S, Tase T, Satoh K, et al.
Gastric-type endocervical glandular neoplasms associated with aberrant p16 expression and K-RAS gene mutation in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.
Pathol Int. 2014; 64(6):283-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this report, unique endocervical glandular lesions exhibiting gastric differentiation were examined in a patient with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. The result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in situ hybridization (ISH) for the hysterectomy specimens was negative, but they demonstrated a papillary mucinous adenocarcinoma at the proximal endocervix continuous to atypical lobular endocervical glandular hyperplasia. Both contained MUC6-positive neutral mucin in cytoplasm, and showed different immunoreactivity to p16, Ki-67, and p53. Moreover, they harbored the identical K-RAS gene mutation suggesting that there was a common origin. Somatic K-RAS mutation and defective function of p16 may have been involved in the tumorigenesis of these unusual mucinous neoplasms.

Wang K, Yuen ST, Xu J, et al.
Whole-genome sequencing and comprehensive molecular profiling identify new driver mutations in gastric cancer.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(6):573-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease with diverse molecular and histological subtypes. We performed whole-genome sequencing in 100 tumor-normal pairs, along with DNA copy number, gene expression and methylation profiling, for integrative genomic analysis. We found subtype-specific genetic and epigenetic perturbations and unique mutational signatures. We identified previously known (TP53, ARID1A and CDH1) and new (MUC6, CTNNA2, GLI3, RNF43 and others) significantly mutated driver genes. Specifically, we found RHOA mutations in 14.3% of diffuse-type tumors but not in intestinal-type tumors (P < 0.001). The mutations clustered in recurrent hotspots affecting functional domains and caused defective RHOA signaling, promoting escape from anoikis in organoid cultures. The top perturbed pathways in gastric cancer included adherens junction and focal adhesion, in which RHOA and other mutated genes we identified participate as key players. These findings illustrate a multidimensional and comprehensive genomic landscape that highlights the molecular complexity of gastric cancer and provides a road map to facilitate genome-guided personalized therapy.

Shibahara H, Higashi M, Koriyama C, et al.
Pathobiological implications of mucin (MUC) expression in the outcome of small bowel cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e86111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mucins have been associated with survival in various cancer patients, but there have been no studies of mucins in small bowel carcinoma (SBC). In this study, we investigated the relationships between mucin expression and clinicopathologic factors in 60 SBC cases, in which expression profiles of MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC6 and MUC16 in cancer and normal tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry. MUC1, MUC5AC and MUC16 expression was increased in SBC lesions compared to the normal epithelium, and expression of these mucins was related to clinicopathologic factors, as follows: MUC1 [tumor location (p = 0.019), depth (p = 0.017) and curability (p = 0.007)], MUC5AC [tumor location (p = 0.063) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.059)], and MUC16 [venous invasion (p = 0.016) and curability (p = 0.016)]. Analysis of 58 cases with survival data revealed five factors associated with a poor prognosis: poorly-differentiated or neuroendocrine histological type (p<0.001), lymph node metastasis (p<0.001), lymphatic invasion (p = 0.026), venous invasion (p<0.001) and curative resection (p<0.001), in addition to expression of MUC1 (p = 0.042), MUC5AC (p = 0.007) and MUC16 (p<0.001). In subsequent multivariate analysis with curability as the covariate, lymph node metastasis, venous invasion, and MUC5AC and/or MUC16 expression were significantly related to the prognosis. Multivariate analysis in curative cases (n = 45) showed that SBC with MUC5AC and/or MUC16 expression had a significantly independent high hazard risk after adjusting for the effects of venous invasion (hazard ratio: 5.6, 95% confidence interval: 1.8-17). In conclusion, the study shows that a MUC5AC-positive and/or MUC16-positive status is useful as a predictor of a poor outcome in patients with SBC.

Gbormittah FO, Haab BB, Partyka K, et al.
Characterization of glycoproteins in pancreatic cyst fluid using a high-performance multiple lectin affinity chromatography platform.
J Proteome Res. 2014; 13(1):289-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Currently, pancreatic cancer is the fourth cause of cancer death. In 2013, it is estimated that ∼38 460 people will die of pancreatic cancer. Early detection of malignant cyst (pancreatic cancer precursor) is necessary to help prevent late diagnosis of the tumor. In this study, we characterized glycoproteins and nonglycoproteins on pooled mucinous (n = 10) and nonmucinous (n = 10) pancreatic cyst fluid to identify "proteins of interest" to differentiate between mucinous cyst from nonmucinous cyst and investigate these proteins as potential biomarker targets. An automated multilectin affinity chromatography (M-LAC) platform was utilized for glycoprotein enrichment followed by nano-LC-MS/MS analysis. Spectral count quantitation allowed for the identification of proteins with significant differential levels in mucinous cysts from nonmucinous cysts of which one protein (periostin) was confirmed via immunoblotting. To exhaustively evaluate differentially expressed proteins, we used a number of proteomic tools including gene ontology classification, pathway and network analysis, Novoseek data mining, and chromosome gene mapping. Utilization of complementary proteomic tools revealed that several of the proteins such as mucin 6 (MUC6), bile salt-activated lipase (CEL), and pyruvate kinase lysozyme M1/M2 with significant differential expression have strong association with pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, chromosome gene mapping demonstrated coexpressions and colocalization of some proteins of interest including 14-3-3 protein epsilon (YWHAE), pigment epithelium derived factor (SERPINF1), and oncogene p53.

Walsh MD, Clendenning M, Williamson E, et al.
Expression of MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6 mucins in colorectal cancers and their association with the CpG island methylator phenotype.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(12):1642-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucinous differentiation is associated with both CpG island methylator phenotype and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer. The mucinous phenotype derives from abundant expression of the colonic goblet cell mucin, MUC2, and de novo expression of gastric foveolar mucin, MUC5AC. We, therefore, investigated the protein expression levels of MUC2 and MUC5AC, as well as MUC5B and MUC6, in molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer. Seven-hundred and twenty-two incident colorectal carcinomas occurring in 702 participants of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study were characterized for methylator status, MLH1 methylation, somatic BRAF and KRAS mutations, microsatellite-instability status, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 mismatch repair, and p53 protein expression, and their histopathology was reviewed. Protein expression levels of MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6, and the putative mucin regulator CDX2 were compared with molecular and clinicopathological features of colorectal cancers using odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals. MUC2 overexpression (>25% positive tumor cells) was observed in 33% colorectal cancers, MUC5B expression in 53%, and de novo MUC5AC and MUC6 expression in 50% and 39%, respectively. Co-expression of two or more of the mucins was commonly observed. Expression of MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 was strongly associated with features associated with tumorigenesis via the serrated neoplasia pathway, including methylator positivity, somatic BRAF p.V600E mutation, and mismatch repair deficiency, as well as proximal location, poor differentiation, lymphocytic response, and increased T stage (all P<0.001). Overexpression was observed in tumors with and without mucinous differentiation. There were inverse associations between expression of all four mucins and p53 overexpression. CDX2 expression was inversely associated with MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6 expression. Our results suggest that, in methylator-positive tumors, mucin genes on chromosome 11p15.5 region undergo increased expression via mechanisms other than direct regulation by CDX2.

Perrais M, Rousseaux C, Ducourouble MP, et al.
Helicobacter pylori urease and flagellin alter mucin gene expression in human gastric cancer cells.
Gastric Cancer. 2014; 17(2):235-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori (Hp), which is one of the causative agents in human gastric adenocarcinoma, is known to interact with mucous gel and alter mucin gene expression. The aim of this work was to study, using an in vitro model of cell infection, the effects of urease, flagellin, and CagA virulence factors on the regulation of the four 11p15 mucin genes (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6).
METHODS: KATO-III and AGS gastric cancer cells were infected for 1, 3 or 6 h with Hp wild-type strains (ATCC 43504, N6, and SS1) or corresponding isogenic mutants deficient for urease subunit B, flagellin subunit A, and CagA. mRNA levels of MUC2, MUC5B, MUC5AC and MUC6 were assessed by RT-PCR, and functional activity of their promoters was measured by transient transfection assays.
RESULTS: Infection of KATO-III cells with Hp wild-type strains resulted in an early (at 1 h) transient expression of MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6 mRNA concomitant with those of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α cytokines. In these cells, the UreB(-) isogenic mutant induced strong activation of MUC5AC expression, and UreB-responsive elements were located in the -486/-1 region of the promoter. FlaA(-) and CagA(-) mutants had no effect on mucin gene mRNA levels in KATO-III cells. In AGS cells, Hp-responsive elements were identified in all promoters, and overexpression of NF-κB induced upregulation of MUC5AC promoter activity when infected with the UreB(-) isogenic mutant.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that Hp infection of gastric cancer cells alters 11p15 mucin gene transcription and that MUC5AC downregulation is mediated by urease virulence factor.

Terada T
Primary cutaneous small cell carcinoma; a case report with differential diagnosis.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(6):1164-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Primary cutaneous small cell carcinoma (PC-SmCC) is extremely rare; only two cases have been reported in the world literatures. A 79-year-old woman presented a small cutaneous tumor in the face. Physical examination showed a tumor measuring 1.0x.08x0.6 cm in the shallow skin of the face. Excisional skin biopsy was performed. The biopsy showed complete excision of the tumor. The tumor was located in the shallow dermis and no connections to epidermis were seen. The tumor was invasive into subcutaneous tissue and surrounding dermis. The tumor was very hypercellular tumor composed of small cells with scant cytoplasm, hyperchromatic nu lei, negative nucleoli, and molded nuclei. The shapes of tumor cells are round, ovoid or spindle. The histological appearances fulfilled the criteria of SmCC of WHO. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were positive for cytokeratin (CK) AE1/3, CK CAM5.2, CK34BE12, CD5, CD6, CK8, p63, NSE, NCAM, synaptophysin (focal), chromogranin (focal), p53, KIT, PDGFRA and Ki-67 (labeling index (LI)=86%). They were negative for CK7, CK19, CK20, EMA, vimentin, CEA, S100 protein, CA19-9, TTF-1, MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6. Mucin histochemistry revealed no mucins. A molecular genetic analysis of PCR-direct sequencing identified no mutations of KIT (exons 9, 11, 13, and 17) and PDGFRA (exons 12 and 18) genes. The author diagnosed this cutaneous tumor as SmCC. Post-diagnosis whole body examination using various imaging and endoscopic techniques revealed no tumors. This may confirm that the skin tumor was primary. The cutaneous tumor was completely resected with wide margins. The patient is now followed up without therapy 8 months after the diagnosis. No recurrence or metastasis is seen. The differential diagnosis from Merkel cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma is very difficult and herein discussed.

Terada T
Urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma with expression of KIT and PDGFRA and showing diverse differentiations into plasmacytoid, clear cell, acantholytic, nested, and spindle variants, and into adenocarcinoma, signet-ring cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and pleomorphic carcinoma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(6):1150-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Various tumors can arise in the urinary bladder (UB); most common is urothelial carcinoma (UC). UC of the UB have many variants. Other types of carcinomas such as adenocarcinoma (AC) and small cell carcinoma (SmCC) can occur in UB carcinomas. Expression of KIT and PDGFRA has not been reported. A 66-year-old man admitted to our hospital because of hematuria. Cystoscopy revealed papillary invasive tumor and a transurethral bladder tumorectomy (TUR-BT) was performed. The TUR-BT showed UC, AC, SmCC, large cell carcinoma (LCC), and pleomorphic carcinoma (PC). The UC component showed plasmacytoid, spindle, nested, clear cell, acantholytic variants. The AC element showed tubular adenocarcinoma and signet-ring cell carcinoma (Sig). Immunohistochemically, all of these subtypes were positive for cytokeratin (CK) AE1/3, CK CAM5.2, CK34BE12, CK5, CK6, CK7, CK8, CK18, CK19, CK20, EMA, CEA, p63, CA19-9, p53 (positive 45%), MUC1, NSE, NCAM, KIT, PDGFRA, and Ki-67 (87%). They were negative for vimentin, chromogranin, synaptophysin, S100 protein, CD34, CD14, α-smooth muscle actin, CD31, caldesmon, CD138, CD45, κ-chain, λ-chain, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6. Mucin histochemistry revealed mucins in AC element including Sig. A molecular genetic analysis using PCR-direct sequencing method identified no mutations of KIT (exons 9, 11, 13, and 17) and PDGFRA (exons 12 and 18) genes. The carcinoma was highly aggressive and invaded into muscular layer. The nuclear grade was very high, and there were numerous lymphovascular permeations were seen. The surface showed carcinoma in situ involving von-Brunn's nests. This case shows that carcinoma of UB can show diverse differentiations into numerous histological types and variants, and can express KIT and PDGFRA. The both genes showed no mutations in the present case.

Hata H, Abe R, Hoshina D, et al.
MUC5AC expression correlates with invasiveness and progression of extramammary Paget's disease.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014; 28(6):727-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with in situ extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) tend to have a good prognosis, although dermal invasion and metastasis are associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have addressed mechanisms underlying the EMPD pathogenesis; however, no molecular markers that reflect invasiveness or progression have been established.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify a reliable marker for predicting the risk of invasion and metastasis in EMPD.
METHODS: We performed an initial microarray screening for in situ, invasive or metastatic lymph node lesions of EMPD. We analysed 44 specimens from 38 primary EMPD cases by immunohistochemical staining.
RESULTS: We found that expressions of MUC5AC directly correlate with invasion and prognosis. Labelling rates of tumour cells were scored by staining intensity on a four-tiered scale (- to 3+) to investigate the correlation between the expression score of these molecular markers and the type of EMPD lesion. All the specimens scored positive (3+) for MUC1 and negative (-) for MUC6. MUC5AC expression was detected in 19 of 44 (43.2%) specimens. Invasive lesions and metastatic lymph nodes tended to express MUC5AC significantly higher than in situ lesions (P < 0.01). MUC2 was positive in 10 specimens (22.7%). There was no significant difference between the degree of MUC2 expression and invasiveness.
CONCLUSION: The degree of MUC5AC expression may correlate with the invasiveness and progression of EMPD, and may be a useful marker for identifying high-risk EMPD cases.

Terada T
Primary cutaneous neuroendocrine tumor (atypical carcinoid) expressing KIT and PDGFRA with myoepithelial differentiation: a case report with immunohistochemical and molecular genetic studies.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(4):802-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Primary cutaneous neuroendocrine tumors (NET) except for Merkel cell carcinoma have rarely been reported. Herein reported is a very unique case of primary cutaneous NET with immunohistochemical markers of myoepitheliomas. A 47-year-old woman presented a tumor measuring 0.8x0.9x0.6 cm of the face. The tumor was excised completely with wide margins. Morphologically, the tumor was located in the dermis, and the tumor was composed of epithelioid cells arranged in trabecular, sinusoidal, rosette, ribbon-like, and cord-like patterns. Focal areas show tubular formations. The tumor cells were homogenous, and their nuclei showed hyperchromasia but no apparent histological features of malignancy were seen. The stroma was very scant. No invasive features were seen. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were strongly positive for cytokeratin (CK) 34BE12, CD5/6, CK14, NCAM (CD56), p63, and KIT (CD117), and moderately positive for CK AE1/3, p53, chromogranin, synaptophysin, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), PDGFRA, CA19-9, and Ki-67 antigen (labeling index=23%). The tumor cells were negative for CK CAM5.2, CK7, CK8, CK18,CK19,CK20, EMA, vimentin, CEA, HMB45, S100 protein, α-smooth muscle antigen, desmin, CD34, GFAP, neurofilaments, CD99 (MIC2), CD45, CD57, ErbB2, TTF-1, MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6. Mucins examined by d-PAS and Alcian blue techniques were negative. A genetic analysis using PCR-direct sequencing method in paraffin sections identified no mutations of KIT (exons 9, 11, 13 and 17) and PDGFRA (exons 12 and 18) genes. Imaging modalities including CT and MRI identified no tumor in the body. The clinicians thought that the tumor was cured. She was a sailor and immediately visited other countries; therefore the follow-up could not be done.

Ideno N, Ohtsuka T, Kono H, et al.
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas with distinct pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas are frequently of gastric subtype.
Ann Surg. 2013; 258(1):141-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To identify a high-risk group of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), independently arising in the pancreas with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), using histopathologic subtypes.
BACKGROUND: Pathologic features of IPMN with distinct PDAC, including histopathologic subtypes of IPMN and PDAC phenotypes, have not been well characterized. Mucin expression patterns and the mutational status of GNAS and KRAS are useful to explore the relationship between these 2 lesion types.
METHODS: Clinicopathologic data of 179 resected IPMNs and 180 resected PDACs without IPMNs as a control group were reviewed. IPMNs were classified into 4 grades (low-grade, intermediate-grade, high-grade dysplasia, and an associated invasive carcinoma) and 4 subtypes (gastric, intestinal, pancreatobiliary, and oncocytic). The expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, and CDX2 was investigated by immunohistochemistry in IPMNs and PDACs with and without IPMNs. The mutational status of GNAS and KRAS was evaluated by cycle sequencing in PDACs and pre-/coexisting IPMNs.
RESULTS: Twenty-six synchronous or metachronous PDACs were identified in 20 patients (11.2%) with IPMNs. Occurrence of concomitant PDACs was more frequently observed in gastric-type IPMNs (18/110, 16.4%) compared with intestinal (1/49, 2.0%), pancreatobiliary (1/17, 5.9%), or oncocytic-type (0/3, 0%) (P = 0.047). Both PDACs with and without IPMNs were frequently positive for MUC1, MUC5AC, and MUC6 expression, as assessed by immunohistochemistry, but were negative for MUC2 and CDX2. The mucin-staining patterns were similar to those of invasive tubular adenocarcinoma arising from gastric-type IPMNs. Mutation of GNAS within codon 201 was not detected in PDACs and gastric-type IPMNs, whereas most of these exhibited KRAS mutations. However, the R201H GNAS mutation was detected in 1 intestinal-type IPMN with distinct PDAC.
CONCLUSIONS: Mucin expression patterns demonstrate that PDAC without GNAS mutations of an aggressive phenotype frequently arise in the pancreas with benign gastric-type IPMN in the absence of GNAS mutations.

Kwon MJ, Min BH, Lee SM, et al.
Serrated adenoma of the stomach: a clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular study of nine cases.
Histol Histopathol. 2013; 28(4):453-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric serrated adenoma is a recently recognized entity that has been rarely described and poorly characterized. To examine whether gastric serrated adenoma shares the same immunophenotypic and molecular features of its colorectal traditional serrated adenoma, the clinicopathologic features, expression of mucin proteins (MUC2, MUC5AC, CD10, MUC6) and mismatch repair protein (MLH1), and mutations of BRAF and KRAS genes were studied. The nine serrated adenomas were obtained from five men and four women, with a mean age of 67 years. Seven (78%) serrated adenomas were located in the body of the stomach. The endoscopic findings were not sufficiently characteristic to diagnose serrated adenoma or serrated adenocarcinoma; however, most were elevated lesions. The initial biopsy material was available in all cases and the serrated features were evident in 6 cases diagnosed as adenoma. Among the nine cases, seven (78%) were associated with invasive adenocarcinoma within the serrated adenoma. MUC5AC was expressed in 6 serrated adenomas (67%). Expression of MUC5AC was observed in all tumors located in the lower third of the stomach. Focal MUC6 expression was observed in the basal part of two serrated adenomas. MLH1 expression was lost in two cases (22%). KRAS mutations were observed in three cases (33%) while BRAF mutations were not detected in any of the cases. Gastric serrated adenoma does not completely share the same immunophenotypic and molecular features of its colorectal counterpart. Gastric serrated adenomas are frequently associated with adenocarcinoma. When serrated adenoma is encountered in a gastric biopsy specimen, the possibility of associated adenocarcinoma should be considered in the adjacent stomach.

Makita K, Kitazawa R, Semba S, et al.
Cdx2 expression and its promoter methylation during metaplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma sequence in Barrett's esophagus.
World J Gastroenterol. 2013; 19(4):536-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To examine how the expression of caudal type homebox transcription factor 2 (Cdx2) is regulated in the development of malignancy in Barrett's esophagus.
METHODS: Cdx2, mucin (MUC) series (MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6), p53 and E-cadherin expression in Barrett's esophagus and adenocarcinoma specimens were examined by immunostaining. Isolated clusters of cells from (1) MUC2 and Cdx2-positive intestinal metaplastic mucosa; (2) MUC5AC and MUC6-positive, and MUC2 and Cdx2-negative high-grade dysplasia (HD), or intramucosal adenocarcinoma (IMC); and (3) MUC5AC, MUC6 and Cdx2-positive poorly-differentiated invasive adenocarcinoma (PDA) were analyzed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction using sets of primers for detecting methylation status of the Cdx2 gene.
RESULTS: Most of the non-neoplastic Barrett's esophageal mucosa showing intestinal-type metaplasia with or without low-grade dysplasia was positive for E-cadherin, MUC series and Cdx2, but negative for p53. A portion of the low-grade to HD was positive for E-cadherin, MUC5AC, MUC6 and p53, but negative for MUC2 and Cdx2. The definite IMC area was strongly positive for MUC5AC, MUC6 and p53, but negative for MUC2 and Cdx2. Methylation of the Cdx2 promoter was not observed in intestinal metaplasia, while hypermethylation of part of its promoter was observed in hot dipped and IMC. Hypermethylation of a large fraction of the Cdx2 promoter was observed in PDA.
CONCLUSION: Cdx2 expression is restored irrespective of the methylation status of its promoter. Apparent positive immunohistochemical results can be a molecular mark for gene silencing memory.

Walsh MD, Cummings MC, Pearson SA, et al.
Lynch syndrome-associated breast cancers do not overexpress chromosome 11-encoded mucins.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(7):944-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mismatch repair-deficient breast cancers may be identified in Lynch syndrome mutation carriers, and have clinicopathological features in common with mismatch repair-deficient colorectal and endometrial cancers such as tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and poor differentiation. Mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancers frequently show mucinous differentiation associated with upregulation of chromosome 11 mucins. The aim of this study was to compare the protein expression of these mucins in mismatch repair-deficient and -proficient breast cancers. Cases of breast cancer (n=100) were identified from families where (1) both breast and colon cancer co-occurred and (2) families met either modified Amsterdam criteria or had at least one early-onset (<50 years) colorectal cancer. Tumour sections were stained for the epithelial mucins, MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B and MUC6, and the homeobox protein CDX2, a regulator of MUC2 expression. In all, 16 mismatch repair-deficient Lynch syndrome breast cancers and 84 non-Lynch breast cancers were assessed for altered mucin expression. No significant difference in the expression of MUC2, MUC5AC or MUC6 was observed between the mismatch repair-deficient and mismatch repair-proficient breast cancers; however, there was a trend for mismatch repair-deficient tumours to express high levels of MUC5B less frequently (P=0.07, OR=0.2 (0.0-1.0)). Co-expression of two or more gel-forming mucins was common. Ectopic expression of CDX2 was associated with expression of MUC2 (P=0.035, OR=8.7 (1.3-58.4)). Mismatch repair-deficient breast cancers do not show differential expression of the mucins genes on chromosome 11 when compared with mismatch repair-proficient breast cancers, in contrast with mismatch repair-deficient colorectal and endometrial cancers, which frequently have increased mucin protein expression when compared with their mismatch repair-proficient counterparts. In addition, ectopic CDX2 expression is positively associated with de novo MUC2 expression.

Nakae K, Mitomi H, Saito T, et al.
MUC5AC/β-catenin expression and KRAS gene alteration in laterally spreading colorectal tumors.
World J Gastroenterol. 2012; 18(39):5551-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To clarify differences in mucin phenotype, proliferative activity and oncogenetic alteration among subtypes of colorectal laterally spreading tumor (LST).
METHODS: LSTs, defined as superficial elevated lesions greater than 10 mm in diameter with a low vertical axis, were macroscopically classified into two subtypes: (1) a granular type (Gr-LST) composed of superficially spreading aggregates of nodules forming a flat-based lesion with a granulonodular and uneven surface; and (2) a non-granular type (NGr-LST) with a flat smooth surface and an absence of granulonodular formation. A total of 69 LSTs, comprising 36 Gr-LSTs and 33 NGr-LSTs, were immunohistochemically stained with MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, CD10 (markers of gastrointestinal cell lineage), p53, β-catenin and Ki-67 antibodies, and examined for alteration in exon 1 of v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and exon 15 of v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homologue B1 (BRAF) by polymerase chain reaction followed by direct sequencing.
RESULTS: Histologically, 15 Gr-LST samples were adenomas with low-grade dysplasia (LGD), 12 were high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and 9 were adenocarcinomas invading the submucosa (INV), while 12 NGr-LSTs demonstrated LGD, 14 HGD and 7 INV. In the proximal colon, MUC5AC expression was significantly higher in the Gr-type than the NGr-type. MUC6 was expressed only in NGr-LST. MUC2 or CD10 did not differ. P53 expression demonstrated a significant stepwise increment in progression through LGD-HGD-INV with both types of LST. Nuclear β-catenin expression was significantly higher in the NGr-type. Ki-67 expression was significantly higher in the Gr-type in the lower one third zone of the tumor. In proximal, but not distal colon tumors, the incidence of KRAS provided mutation was significantly higher in the Gr-type harboring a specific mutational pattern (G12V). BRAF mutations (V600E) were detected only in two Gr-LSTs.
CONCLUSION: The two subtypes of LST, especially in the proximal colon, have differing phenotypes of gastrointestinal cell lineage, proliferation and activation of Wnt/β-catenin or RAS/RAF/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling.

Ahn MH, Bae KB, Kwon JA, et al.
Association of MUC6-minisatellite variants with susceptibility to rectal carcinoma.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(1):303-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A secreted MUC6 mucin is reported to be expressed highly in the stomach and gall bladder. In previous our study, the five minisatellites were identified and a significant association between MUC6-MS5 alleles and gastric cancer was reported. Because of aberrant MUC6 expression is often found in gastrointestinal diseases, we evaluated a relationship between MUC6-MS5 and susceptibility to colorectal cancers. Case-control study was performed with 1,103 cancer-free controls and 414 rectal cancer cases. A significant association (OR = 2.70) between short rare MUC6-MS5 alleles (7, 9 repeats) and the occurrence of cancer was observed in rectal cancer [95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.12-6.54; p = 0.022]. Furthermore, a comparison by gender showed the differences in the association ratios between rectal cancer and short rare MUC6-MS5 alleles: male, 3.97 (CI: 1.36-11.5; p = 0.006) versus female 0.91 (CI: 0.18-4.75; p = 0.913). We also examined the association according to lymphovascular invasion (LVI). The frequency of LVI positive rectal cancer was increased in short rare allele cases than in the total rectal cases: 16.2 % versus 42.9 %. Therefore, we suggest that the short rare MUC6-MS5 alleles may be related to cancer development in male and these cancer cases may be related the bad prognosis.

Naito Y, Kusano H, Nakashima O, et al.
Intraductal neoplasm of the intrahepatic bile duct: clinicopathological study of 24 cases.
World J Gastroenterol. 2012; 18(28):3673-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the clinicopathological features of intraductal neoplasm of the intrahepatic bile duct (INihB).
METHODS: Clinicopathological features of 24 cases of INihB, which were previously diagnosed as biliary papillomatosis or intraductal growth of intrahepatic biliary neoplasm, were reviewed. Mucin immunohistochemistry was performed for mucin (MUC)1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC6. Ki-67, P53 and β-catenin immunoreactivity were also examined. We categorized each tumor as adenoma (low grade), borderline (intermediate grade), and malignant (carcinoma in situ, high grade including tumors with microinvasion).
RESULTS: Among 24 cases of INihB, we identified 24 tumors. Twenty of 24 tumors (83%) were composed of a papillary structure; the same feature observed in intraductal papillary neoplasm of the bile duct (IPNB). In contrast, the remaining four tumors (17%) showed both tubular and papillary structures. In three of the four tumors (75%), macroscopic mucin secretion was limited but microscopic intracellular mucin was evident. Histologically, 16 tumors (67%) were malignant, three (12%) were borderline, and five (21%) were adenoma. Microinvasion was found in four cases (17%). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that MUC1 was not expressed in the borderline/adenoma group but was expressed only in malignant lesions (P = 0.0095). Ki-67 labeling index (LI) was significantly higher in the malignant group than in the borderline/adenoma group (22.2 ± 15.5 vs 7.5 ± 6.3, P < 0.01). In the 16 malignant cases, expression of MUC5AC showed borderline significant association with high Ki-67 LI (P = 0.0622). Nuclear expression of β-catenin was observed in two (8%) of the 24 tumors, and these two tumors also showed MUC1 expression. P53 was negative in all tumors.
CONCLUSION: Some cases of INihB have a tubular structure, and are subcategorized as IPNB with tubular structure. MUC1 expression in INihB correlates positively with degree of malignancy.

Liu H, Shi J, Anandan V, et al.
Reevaluation and identification of the best immunohistochemical panel (pVHL, Maspin, S100P, IMP-3) for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2012; 136(6):601-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Differentiation of ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas from nonneoplastic pancreatic tissues can be challenging, especially in small biopsy and fine-needle aspiration specimens.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the utility of 26 immunohistochemical markers (CAM 5.2, CK [cytokeratin] 7, CK20, CK17, CK19, MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC6, p53, DPC4/SMAD4, CDX2, pVHL [von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene protein], S100P, IMP-3 [insulin-like growth factor 2 messenger RNA binding protein 3], maspin, mesothelin, claudin 4, claudin 18, annexin A8, fascin, PSCA [prostate stem cell antigen], MOC31, CEA [carcinoembryonic antigen], and CA19-9 [cancer antigen 19-9]) in the diagnosis of ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
DESIGN: Immunohistochemical staining for these markers was performed in 60 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma on routine and tissue microarray sections. In addition, immunohistochemical staining for maspin, S100P, IMP-3, and pVHL was performed on cell blocks from 67 pancreatic fine-needle aspiration cases, including 44 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
RESULTS: The results demonstrated that (1) more than 90% of cases of ductal adenocarcinoma were positive for maspin, S100P, and IMP-3; (2) nearly all adenocarcinoma cases were negative for pVHL, whereas nonneoplastic ducts and acini were positive for pVHL in all cases; (3) normal/reactive pancreatic ducts were frequently positive for CK7, CK19, MUC1, MUC6, CA19-9, MOC31, PSCA, mesothelin, annexin A8, claudin 4, and claudin 18; (4) normal pancreatic ducts were usually negative for IMP-3, maspin, S100P, CK17, MUC2, MUC4, and MUC5AC; (5) 60% of adenocarcinomas were negative for DPC4/SMAD4; and (6) strong background staining was frequently seen with fascin, PSCA, and annexin A8.
CONCLUSIONS: pVHL, maspin, S100P, and IMP-3 constitute the best diagnostic panel of immunomarkers for confirming the diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in both surgical and fine-needle aspiration specimens.

Kataoka Y, Okabe H, Yoshizawa A, et al.
HER2 expression and its clinicopathological features in resectable gastric cancer.
Gastric Cancer. 2013; 16(1):84-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A recent randomized controlled trial (Trastuzumab for Gastric Cancer [ToGA] study) established standard scoring criteria of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) for gastric cancer and demonstrated the efficacy of trastuzumab for treating metastatic gastric cancer. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the frequency of HER2-positive cases by application of the standard criteria in patients with resectable gastric cancer and to examine the relationships between HER2 expression and prognosis, mucin phenotype, p53 status, and clinicopathological features.
METHODS: A total of 213 patients were included in this retrospective study. All tumor samples were examined for HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC), HER2 amplification by in situ hybridization, and mucin and p53 expression by staining for CD10, MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, and p53.
RESULTS: HER2-positive tumors were identified in 25 patients (11.7 %). HER2-positive cases were more frequently found in men, older patients, and in the intestinal histological type (P = 0.0048, 0.0309, and <0.0001, respectively). Although no association was found between HER2 overexpression and mucin phenotype, the expression of CD10 and p53 was significantly correlated with HER2 positivity (P = 0.0079 and 0.013). The overall survival of HER2-negative and -positive patients was not significantly different. However, in patients with stage III/IV, overall survival was worse in HER2-positive patients (P = 0.0149). In a comparison between dual-color in situ hybridization (DISH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), four IHC2+/3+ cases that were DISH-positive were judged as negative by FISH.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicated that HER2 expression was less frequent in resectable gastric cancer than in metastatic gastric cancer. The impact of HER2 expression on survival was limited. DISH was superior to FISH for evaluating cases with limited HER2 expression.

Marín F, Bonet C, Muñoz X, et al.
Genetic variation in MUC1, MUC2 and MUC6 genes and evolution of gastric cancer precursor lesions in a long-term follow-up in a high-risk area in Spain.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(5):1072-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
In order to assess whether inherited genetic variability in the mucin genes associates with the evolution of gastric cancer precursor lesions (GCPLs), we genotyped 22 tagSNPs in MUC1, MUC6 and MUC2 genes of 387 patients with GCPLs that had been followed up for 12.8 years. According to the diagnosis at recruitment and at the end of follow-up, the lesions did not change in 43.1% of the patients, regressed in 28.7% and progressed in 28.2%. Three SNPs in the 3'-moiety of MUC2 were significantly associated with a decreased risk of progression of the lesions, whereas another four SNPs, located at the 5'-moiety, were found to be significantly associated either with increased [one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] or decreased (three SNPs) probability of regression. Stratified analysis indicated that significance was maintained only in those subjects positive for Helicobacter pylori infection and in those not consuming non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which were found protective against lesion progression. Haplotype analyses indicated the presence of two haplotypes, one in each moiety of the gene, that were significantly associated with decreased risk of progression of the lesions [odds ratio (OR) = 0.49 and 0.46; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.28-0.85 and 0.25-0.86, respectively]. The 5'-end haplotype was also associated with increased probability of regression (OR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.02-2.73), altogether suggesting a protective role against progression of the precancerous lesions. No significant association was found with variants in MUC1 and MUC6 genes. These results indicate, for the first time, that genetic variability in MUC2 is associated with evolution of GCPLs, especially in H.pylori infected patients, suggesting a role of this secreted mucin in gastric carcinogenesis.

Kelly PJ, Shinagare S, Sainani N, et al.
Cystic papillary pattern in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a heretofore undescribed morphologic pattern that mimics intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2012; 36(5):696-701 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The prototypic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma shows small-caliber glands that are placed within an exuberant desmoplastic stromal reaction. A number of histologic patterns have been described, and the majority of these patterns are genetically and biologically related to conventional ductal adenocarcinomas. In this report we describe our experience with a heretofore undescribed histologic pattern of pancreatic adenocarcinoma that mimics intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma, both morphologically and radiologically.
METHODS: We identified 10 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma with large-caliber malignant glands and an intraluminal papillary pattern. The demographic, clinical, radiologic, and outcome data were recorded. In addition to a review of the histologic features we also performed elastin stains, immunohistochemistry for selected oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes including SMAD4. Immunohistochemical staining for MUC proteins was also performed.
RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 67 years, and there were 6 women and 4 men. Grossly, the cut surface in 6 of these cases showed an admixture of solid and cystic areas. The papillary cystic architecture was intimately mixed with areas of conventional adenocarcinoma, the latter characterized by invasive small-caliber tubular structures. None of the tumors showed a pure papillary cystic pattern; however, in 8 cases, this was the predominant pattern (>50% of the tumor). The cysts and papillae were lined predominantly by tall columnar hypermucinous epithelium. Elastin fibers were not identified around these dilated malignant cysts and glands. The intratumoral stroma was paucicellular and hyalinized. Seven of the 10 tumors were negative for SMAD4. The lack of pericystic elastin fibers and loss of SMAD4 in the majority of cases argue against these lesions representing an intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm. All 10 tumors stained for MUC1; focal MUC2 reactivity was noted in 1 case. The majority of cases were positive for MUC5AC (9/10) and MUC6 (8/10). Seven patients died of their disease, whereas 1 patient is alive with widely metastatic disease. Two patients were lost to follow up.
CONCLUSIONS: The adenocarcinoma described herein is a unique morphologic pattern of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The biology and genetics (as estimated by immunohistochemistry) are no different from that of conventional ductal adenocarcinoma but are distinctly different from that of an intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma, its closest morphologic mimic.

Rossi G, Gasser B, Sartori G, et al.
MUC5AC, cytokeratin 20 and HER2 expression and K-RAS mutations within mucinogenic growth in congenital pulmonary airway malformations.
Histopathology. 2012; 60(7):1133-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS:   To analyse the expression of several mucins (MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC5AC and MUC6), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), v-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukaemia viral oncogene homologue 2 (HER2), thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), caudal type homeobox 2 (CDX2) and cytokeratin 20 (CK20), and the presence of mutations of EGFR, KRAS and HER2 in congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM).
METHODS AND RESULTS:   Forty-one cases of CPAM and six pulmonary sequestrations were included. TTF-1 expression was observed in all cases but was not seen in mucinogenic growths in CPAM. CDX2 expression was completely negative. MUC1 expression was noted in 12 (29%) CPAM and in 33% sequestrations. MUC5AC was noted in only five cases (26%) by immunohistochemistry and was found in the mucinogenic proliferations of type 1 CPAM. No immunolabelling was noted for the other mucins. EGFR was expressed variably in almost all cases, while HER2 and CK20 was seen exclusively in the mucinogenic proliferations. All mucinous growths were characterized by KRAS mutations. No EGFR and HER2 gene alterations were identified.
CONCLUSIONS:   KRAS mutations and MUC5AC, CK20 and HER2 expression was seen in all mucinogenic proliferations, supporting the neoplastic nature of these cytologically bland growths. These findings emphasize the importance of complete surgical resection of such lesions.

Niv Y, Fass R
The role of mucin in GERD and its complications.
Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012; 9(1):55-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acid, pepsin and other noxious material reach the esophageal mucosa and interact with the luminal aspect of the squamous epithelium. The first protective barrier to these potentially injurious substances is the mucus buffer layer that covers the mucosa. In healthy people, the esophagus has a protective surface adherent mucus gel barrier. Levels of mucin glycoprotein are considerably increased in response to acid and pepsin. A wide spectrum of mucin genes are expressed in normal esophageal mucosa, squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, Barrett epithelium and esophageal adenocarcinoma. The mucins MUC5AC and MUC6 are expressed to a similar degree in Barrett metaplasia and gastric mucosa, as is MUC2 in Barrett intestinal metaplasia and small bowel mucosa. Increased expression of MUC1 is associated with progression from dysplasia to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Thus, mucins have an important role in the defense of esophageal mucosa against the acid, pepsin and bile that are present in the refluxate. Changes in the expression of mucins occur in patients with GERD, and might lead to the development of new drugs.

Resende C, Thiel A, Machado JC, Ristimäki A
Gastric cancer: basic aspects.
Helicobacter. 2011; 16 Suppl 1:38-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is a world health burden, ranging as the second cause of cancer death worldwide. Etiologically, GC arises not only from the combined effects of environmental factors and susceptible genetic variants but also from the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations. In the last years, molecular oncobiology studies brought to light a number of genes that are implicated in gastric carcinogenesis. This review is intended to focus on the recently described basic aspects that play key roles in the process of gastric carcinogenesis. Genetic variants of the genes IL-10, IL-17, MUC1, MUC6, DNMT3B, SMAD4, and SERPINE1 have been reported to modify the risk of developing GC. Several genes have been newly associated with gastric carcinogenesis, both through oncogenic activation (GSK3β, CD133, DSC2, P-Cadherin, CDH17, CD168, CD44, metalloproteinases MMP7 and MMP11, and a subset of miRNAs) and through tumor suppressor gene inactivation mechanisms (TFF1, PDX1, BCL2L10, XRCC, psiTPTE-HERV, HAI-2, GRIK2, and RUNX3). It also addressed the role of the inflammatory mediator cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the process of gastric carcinogenesis and its importance as a potential molecular target for therapy.

Nancarrow DJ, Clouston AD, Smithers BM, et al.
Whole genome expression array profiling highlights differences in mucosal defense genes in Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e22513 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has become a major concern in Western countries due to rapid rises in incidence coupled with very poor survival rates. One of the key risk factors for the development of this cancer is the presence of Barrett's esophagus (BE), which is believed to form in response to repeated gastro-esophageal reflux. In this study we performed comparative, genome-wide expression profiling (using Illumina whole-genome Beadarrays) on total RNA extracted from esophageal biopsy tissues from individuals with EAC, BE (in the absence of EAC) and those with normal squamous epithelium. We combined these data with publically accessible raw data from three similar studies to investigate key gene and ontology differences between these three tissue states. The results support the deduction that BE is a tissue with enhanced glycoprotein synthesis machinery (DPP4, ATP2A3, AGR2) designed to provide strong mucosal defenses aimed at resisting gastro-esophageal reflux. EAC exhibits the enhanced extracellular matrix remodeling (collagens, IGFBP7, PLAU) effects expected in an aggressive form of cancer, as well as evidence of reduced expression of genes associated with mucosal (MUC6, CA2, TFF1) and xenobiotic (AKR1C2, AKR1B10) defenses. When our results are compared to previous whole-genome expression profiling studies keratin, mucin, annexin and trefoil factor gene groups are the most frequently represented differentially expressed gene families. Eleven genes identified here are also represented in at least 3 other profiling studies. We used these genes to discriminate between squamous epithelium, BE and EAC within the two largest cohorts using a support vector machine leave one out cross validation (LOOCV) analysis. While this method was satisfactory for discriminating squamous epithelium and BE, it demonstrates the need for more detailed investigations into profiling changes between BE and EAC.

Mahomed F
Recent advances in mucin immunohistochemistry in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral Oncol. 2011; 47(9):797-803 [PubMed] Related Publications
This review focuses on the immunohistochemical expression of members of the MUC-type mucin family in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Information is available on changes in the expression levels and distribution profiles of MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6 and MUC7 in tumors of the salivary glands; and of MUC1, MUC2 and MUC4 in HNSCC. In salivary gland tumors the expression patterns of MUC2, MUC3, MUC5AC and MUC6 appear to be very closely correlated with the histopathological tumor type indicating their potential use to improve diagnostic accuracy in salivary gland neoplasia. Some MUC-type mucins have emerged as valuable prognostic indicators in pleomorphic adenoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma and HNSCC. Nine antibodies directed against different MUC1 antigens have thus far been examined in HNSCC of which monoclonal antibodies DF3, HMFG-1 and Ma695 have shown significant correlations with disease outcome. The importance of taking the specific anti-MUC antibody into consideration when comparing the results of different studies on MUC expression in salivary gland tumors and HNSCC is also highlighted in this review.

Carrara S, Cangi MG, Arcidiacono PG, et al.
Mucin expression pattern in pancreatic diseases: findings from EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsies.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2011; 106(7):1359-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Alterations in mucin (MUC) glycosylation and expression have been described in cancer. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) can provide material for molecular biology analysis. This study assessed the feasibility of evaluating MUC expression from material obtained by EUS-FNA and studied the profile of MUC expression in benign and malignant pancreatic lesions.
METHODS: A total of 90 patients with solid or cystic pancreatic lesions underwent FNA. The aspirated material was used for cytological analysis and RNA extraction to assess the expression pattern of MUCs by reverse transcription-PCR with primers specific for the MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5A, MUC5B, MUC6, and MUC7 genes.
RESULTS: RNA extraction was successful in 81% of the biopsies. The prevalences of MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, and MUC7 in ductal adenocarcinoma were 57.7, 51.4, 18.9, and 73.0%, respectively. Fifty percent of benign lesions and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), and 63% of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) were positive for MUC1. Twenty-five percent of benign lesions, 86% of NETs, and 47% of IPMNs were positive for MUC2. Of NETs, 50% were positive for MUC1, and 14% were positive for MUC7. None of the benign lesions or NETs expressed MUC4. MUC7 expression was highly significant for adenocarcinoma (P=0.007) and borderline for IPMN (P=0.05). MUC7 was expressed in 37.5% of chronic pancreatitis cases.
CONCLUSIONS: RNA can be extracted from samples obtained under EUS-FNA. MUC7 could serve as a potential biological marker to identify malignant lesions, especially pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Gibson JA, Hahn HP, Shahsafaei A, Odze RD
MUC expression in hyperplastic and serrated colonic polyps: lack of specificity of MUC6.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2011; 35(5):742-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have shown that hyperplastic and serrated polyps of the colon show variable degrees of gastric and intestinal differentiation. MUCs are a class of approximately 20 genes that encode high-molecular-weight glycoproteins, or mucopolysaccharides, that are widely expressed in epithelial cells and show organ specificity. The role of MUC in serrated carcinogenesis is unknown. One previously published study suggested that expression of MUC6 is specific for sessile serrated adenoma/polyps (SSA/Ps) and thus can be used to distinguish these lesions from hyperplastic polyps (HPs). However, data from our group suggest that MUC antibodies are not reliable in this differential diagnosis. The aims of this study were to systematically evaluate the expression of MUCs in serrated colon polyps and to determine the efficacy of MUC expression in differentiating HPs from SSA/Ps specifically. Routinely processed specimens from 182 serrated polyps [58 HPs, 46 SSA/Ps, 59 SSA/Ps with dysplasia (SSA/P-D), 19 traditional serrated adenomas, and 38 conventional tubular or tubulovillous adenomas (CAs)] were immunohistochemically stained with MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6, and scored for extent, intensity, and location of staining within the polyps. HPs were further subclassified into goblet cell type (N=18), microvesicular type (N=21), and mucin-depleted type (N=19). The data were compared between the different polyp groups and between polyps from different anatomic locations in the colon. MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC, and MUC6 were expressed in 27%, 100%, 100%, and 72% of serrated polyps overall. These antibodies were positive in 32%, 100%, 100%, and 43% of CAs. Expression levels of MUC1, MUC2, and MUC5AC were not significantly different between any of the polyp subgroups or between serrated polyps and CAs. Both SSA/P and SSA/P-D showed a significantly higher percentage of polyps that stained with MUC6, and a greater degree and intensity of staining for this peptide in comparison with HPs. Overall, 91% of SSA/Ps and 84% of SSA/P-Ds were positive for MUC6 in comparison with 60% of HPs (P<0.001 and P=0.02, respectively). Although polyps from both the left and right colon from each polyp group showed positivity for MUC6, a significantly higher proportion of SSA/P-Ds and traditional serrated adenomas from the right colon showed MUC6 positivity compared with those from the left. No differences were noted in MUC6 staining between each of the 3 HP subgroups. On the basis of these data, we conclude that SSA/P and SSA/P-D show increased expression of MUC6 compared with HPs; however, because of overlap in the presence, degree, and intensity of staining, use of MUC6 to differentiate HPs from SSA/P or SSA/P-D in individual cases is not reliable because of a lack of specificity. Differences in MUC6 expression between right-sided and left-sided colonic polyps supports the theory that there may be biological differences in the progression of malignancy in different portions of the colon with regard to the serrated pathway of carcinogenesis.

Sentani K, Oue N, Sakamoto N, et al.
Upregulation of connexin 30 in intestinal phenotype gastric cancer and its reduction during tumor progression.
Pathobiology. 2010; 77(5):241-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The mucin phenotype is associated with clinicopathological findings and tumorigenesis in gastric cancer (GC). The aim was to search for a novel marker regulating the intestinal phenotype of GC.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed microarray analyses, and GJB6 (encoding connexin 30) was identified as a gene associated with the intestinal phenotype. Immunostaining of connexin 30 in 169 GC cases revealed that 47 (28%) cases were positive for connexin 30, while connexin 30 was negative in nonneoplastic gastric tissue. Connexin 30-negative GC cases showed more advanced T grade, N grade, and tumor stage than connexin 30-positive GC cases. Six (13%) GC cases positive for connexin 30 were histologically of the differentiated type. In addition, the expression of gastric and intestinal phenotypes of GC was examined by immunostaining for MUC5AC, MUC6, MUC2, and CD10. Connexin 30 expression occurred more frequently in the intestinal phenotype (48%) than in other phenotypes (21%) of GC.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the expression of connexin 30 is a novel differentiation marker mediating the biological behavior of intestinal phenotype GC.

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