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We studied the genetic fingerprints of ovarian cancer and validated the potential of Mammaglobin b (SCGB2A1), one of the top differentially expressed genes found in our analysis, as a novel ovarian tumour rejection antigen. We profiled 70 ovarian carcinomas including 24 serous (OSPC), 15 clear-cell (CC), 24 endometrioid (EAC) and 7 poorly differentiated tumours, and 14 normal human ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE) control cell lines using the Human HG-U133 Plus 2.0 chip (Affymetrix). Quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry staining techniques were used to validate microarray data at RNA and protein levels for SCGB2A1. Full-length human-recombinant SCGB2A1 was used to pulse monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) to stimulate autologous SCGB2A1-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses against chemo-naive and chemo-resistant autologous ovarian tumours. Gene expression profiling identified SCGB2A1 as a top differentially expressed gene in all histological ovarian cancer types tested. The CD8+ CTL populations generated against SCGB2A1 were able to consistently induce lysis of autologous primary (chemo-naive) and metastatic/recurrent (chemo-resistant) target tumour cells expressing SCGB2A1, whereas autologous HLA-identical noncancerous cells were not lysed. Cytotoxicity against autologous tumour cells was significantly inhibited by anti-HLA-class I (W6/32) monoclonal antibody. Intracellular cytokine expression measured by flow cytometry showed a striking type 1 cytokine profile (i.e., high IFN-γ secretion) in SCGB2A1-specific CTLs. SCGB2A1 is a top differentially expressed gene in all major histological types of ovarian cancers and may represent a novel and attractive target for the immunotherapy of patients harbouring recurrent disease resistant to chemotherapy.


S Bellone, R Tassi, M Betti, D English, E Cocco, S Gasparrini, I Bortolomai, J D Black, P Todeschini, C Romani, A Ravaggi, E Bignotti, E Bandiera, L Zanotti, S Pecorelli, L Ardighieri, M Falchetti, C Donzelli, E R Siegel, M Azodi, D-A Silasi, E Ratner, P E Schwartz, T J Rutherford, A D Santin. Mammaglobin B (SCGB2A1) is a novel tumour antigen highly differentially expressed in all major histological types of ovarian cancer: implications for ovarian cancer immunotherapy. British journal of cancer. 2013 Jul 23;109(2):462-71

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PMID: 23807163

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