Oestrogen receptor-binding fragment associated gene 9, EBAG9, is an oestrogen-responsive gene that was identified in MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cell line. It is identical to RCAS I, a cancer cell surface antigen possibly involved in immune escape. In the present study, we examined the expression of EBAG9/RCASI in human epithelial ovarian cancer using immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A total of 90 epithelial ovarian cancer cases were examined immunohistochemically by means of the antibodies for EBAG9 and ERα. The correlation between EBAG9 immunoreactivity and clinicopathological parameters was examined. mRNA expression of EBAG9 and ERα were evaluated by RT-PCR in 22 cases. The expression for EBAG9 and ERα was examined by immunoblotting in 12 ovarian cancer cell lines. EBAG9 immunoreactivity was detected in the surface and cytoplasm of carcinoma cells in 46 out of 90 cases (51.1%). EBAG9 expression was significantly higher in serous histology (P = 0.0402) and advanced disease (P = 0.0206). No significant relationship was detected between EBAG9 immunoreactivity and overall survival (P = 0.689). There was a highly significant correlation between EBAG9 and ER immunoreactivity (P < 0.0001). The EBAG9 mRNA was detected in 20 out of 22 cases. In all of the cases that were positive for ERα mRNA, they were also positive for EBAG9 mRNA. Immunoreactive band corresponding to EBAG9 was detected in 11 out of 12 of ovarian cancer cell lines, and was consistent with ERα expression. In conclusion, the wide distribution of EBAG9 and its relation to advanced disease suggest that this protein may play important roles in epithelial ovarian cancer.
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