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MUC16 expression during embryogenesis, in adult tissues, and ovarian cancer in the mouse.
ABSTRACT: Cancer antigen 125 (CA125) is an antigen that is elevated in the serum of women with ovarian carcinoma, but can also be detected in serum from healthy women. CA125 is expressed in 80% of human ovarian cancers, as well as in normal adult endometrium, lung, and amnion. The gene encoding human CA125 was identified as MUCIN16 (MUC16). A database search identified the orthologous mouse gene, Muc16. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and RNA in situ hybridization detected Muc16 transcripts in the surface epithelia of the upper respiratory tract, the mesothelia lining body cavities and the internal organs, as well as male and female reproductive organs, and the amnion. Antibodies raised against human MUC16 do not recognize mouse MUC16. Therefore, a rabbit anti-mouse polyclonal antibody against recombinant mouse MUC16 was generated. Immunohistochemistry using this anti-mouse MUC16 antibody revealed expression in the luminal epithelia of the trachea, the epithelia of the secretory glands in the oral cavity, the surface of the olfactory epithelia, as well as mesothelial cells lining body cavities (i.e., pleural, peritoneal, and pelvic cavities), and male and female reproductive organs. In addition, MUC16 protein was detected in other cell types, such as the surface epithelia of the cochlear duct and chief cells of the stomach, suggesting multiple roles for MUC16. In mouse serous epithelial ovarian cancer, MUC16 protein was detected at the apical surface of well-differentiated tumors, but not poorly differentiated tumors. These findings document the presence of MUC16 in murine ovarian cancer and in normal tissues and provide a foundation for future functional studies.
Project description:The ovarian tumor marker CA125 is expressed on human MUC16, a cell surface bound mucin that is also shed by proteolytic cleavage. Human MUC16 is overexpressed by ovarian cancer cells. MUC16 facilitates the binding of ovarian tumor cells to mesothelial cells lining the peritoneal cavity. Additionally, MUC16 also is a potent inhibitor of natural killer cell mediated anti-tumor cytotoxic responses. Extensive studies using human as well as murine ovarian tumor cell models are required to clearly define the function of MUC16 in the progression of ovarian tumors. The major objective of this study was to determine if the murine ovarian tumor cells, MOVCAR, express Muc16 and to characterize antibodies that recognize this mucin.RT-PCR analysis was used for detecting the Muc16 message and size exclusion column chromatography for isolating Muc16 produced by MOVCAR cells. Soluble and cell-associated murine Muc16 were analyzed, respectively, by Western blotting and flow cytometry assays using a new panel of antibodies. The presence of N-linked oligosaccharides on murine Muc16 was determined by ConA chromatography.We demonstrate that murine Muc16 is expressed by mouse ovarian cancer cells as an ~250 kDa glycoprotein that carries both O-linked and N-linked oligosaccharides. In contrast to human MUC16, the murine ortholog is primarily released from the cells and cannot be detected on the cell surface. Since the released murine Muc16 is not detected by conventional anti-CA125 assays, we have for the first time identified a panel of anti-human MUC16 antibodies that also recognizes the murine counterpart.The antibodies identified in this study can be used in future purification of murine Muc16 and exhaustive study of its properties. Furthermore, the initial identification and characterization of murine Muc16 is a vital preliminary step in the development of effective murine models of human ovarian cancer. These models will aid in the further elucidation of the role that human MUC16 plays in the etiology and progression of ovarian tumors.
Project description:The CA125 antigen is found in the serum of many patients with serous ovarian cancer and has been widely used as a disease marker. CA125 has been shown to be an independent factor for clinical outcome in this disease. In The Cancer Genome Atlas ovarian cancer project, MUC16 expression levels are frequently increased, and the highest levels of MUC16 expression are linked to a significantly worse survival. To examine the biologic effect of the proximal portion of MUC16/CA125, NIH/3T3 (3T3) fibroblast cell lines were stably transfected with the carboxy elements of MUC16. As few as 114 amino acids from the carboxy-terminal portion of MUC16 were sufficient to increase soft agar growth, promote matrigel invasion, and increase the rate of tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Transformation with carboxy elements of MUC16 was associated with activation of the AKT and ERK pathways. MUC16 transformation was associated with up-regulation of a number of metastases and invasion gene transcripts, including IL-1?, MMP2, and MMP9. All observed oncogenic changes were exclusively dependent on the extracellular "ectodomain" of MUC16. The biologic impact of MUC16 was also explored through the creation of a transgenic mouse model expressing 354 amino acids of the carboxy-terminal portion of MUC16 (MUC16c354). Under a CMV, early enhancer plus chicken ? actin promoter (CAG) MUC16c354 was well expressed in many organs, including the brain, colon, heart, kidney, liver, lung, ovary, and spleen. MUC16c354 transgenic animals appear to be viable, fertile, and have a normal lifespan. However, when crossed with p53-deficient mice, the MUC16c354:p53+/- progeny displayed a higher frequency of spontaneous tumor development compared to p53+/- mice alone. We conclude that the carboxy-terminal portion of the MUC16/CA125 protein is oncogenic in NIH/3T3 cells, increases invasive tumor properties, activates the AKT and ERK pathways, and contributes to the biologic properties of ovarian cancer.
Project description:MUC16 is overexpressed in ovarian cancer and plays important roles in invasion and metastasis. Previously described monoclonal antibodies against cell surface expressed MUC16 recognize the N-terminal tandemly repeated epitopes present in cancer antigen 125 (CA125). MUC16 is cleaved at a specific location, thus, releasing CA125 into the extracellular space. Recent reports have indicated that the retained carboxy-terminal (CT) fragment of MUC16 might play an important role in tumorigenicity in diverse types of cancers. However, limited data is available on the fate and existence of CT fragment on the surface of the cancer cell. Herein, we characterize two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) showing specificity to the retained juxtamembrane region of MUC16. For the first time, we demonstrate that MUC16 is cleaved in ovarian cancer cells (NIH:OVCAR-3 [OVCAR-3]) and that the cleaved MUC16 subunits remain associated with each other. Immunohistochemical analyses on different grades of ovarian tumor tissues indicated differential reactivity of CA125 and MUC16 CT mAbs. The CA125 (M11) mAb detected 32/40 (80%), while the CT mAb (5E6) detected 33/40 (82.5%) of total ovarian cancer cases. For serous and serous papillary cases, the CA125 (M11) mAb stained 27/31 cases (87%), while CT mAb (5E6) stained 29/31 cases (93.5%). The CT mAb(s) accurately predict expression of MUC16 since their epitopes are not tandemly repeated and their reactivity may not be dependent on O-linked glycosylation. These antibodies can serve as valuable reagents for understanding MUC16 cleavage and may also serve as potential therapeutic agents for treatment of ovarian cancer.
Project description:Cancer antigen 125 (CA125) is a blood biomarker that is routinely used to monitor the progression of human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and is encoded by MUC16, a member of the mucin gene family. The biological function of CA125/MUC16 and its potential role in EOC are poorly understood. Here we report the targeted disruption of the of the Muc16 gene in the mouse. To generate Muc16 knockout mice, 6.0 kb was deleted that included the majority of exon 3 and a portion of intron 3 and replaced with a lacZ reporter cassette. Loss of Muc16 protein expression suggests that Muc16 homozygous mutant mice are null mutants. Muc16 homozygous mutant mice are viable, fertile, and develop normally. Histological analysis shows that Muc16 homozygous mutant tissues are normal. By the age of 1 year, Muc16 homozygous mutant mice appear normal. Downregulation of transcripts from another mucin gene (Muc1) was detected in the Muc16 homozygous mutant uterus. Lack of any prominent abnormal phenotype in these Muc16 knockout mice suggests that CA125/MUC16 is not required for normal development or reproduction. These knockout mice provide a unique platform for future studies to identify the role of CA125/MUC16 in organ homeostasis and ovarian cancer.
Project description:Over three decades have passed since the first report on the expression of CA125 by ovarian tumors. Since that time our understanding of ovarian cancer biology has changed significantly to the point that these tumors are now classified based on molecular phenotype and not purely on histological attributes. However, CA125 continues to be, with the recent exception of HE4, the only clinically reliable diagnostic marker for ovarian cancer. Many large-scale clinical trials have been conducted or are underway to determine potential use of serum CA125 levels as a screening modality or to distinguish between benign and malignant pelvic masses. CA125 is a peptide epitope of a 3-5 million Da mucin, MUC16. Here we provide an in-depth review of the literature to highlight the importance of CA125 as a prognostic and diagnostic marker for ovarian cancer. We focus on the increasing body of literature describing the biological role of MUC16 in the progression and metastasis of ovarian tumors. Finally, we consider previous and on-going efforts to develop therapeutic approaches to eradicate ovarian tumors by targeting MUC16. Even though CA125 is a crucial marker for ovarian cancer, the exact structural definition of this antigen continues to be elusive. The importance of MUC16/CA125 in the diagnosis, progression and therapy of ovarian cancer warrants the need for in-depth research on the biochemistry and biology of this mucin. A renewed focus on MUC16 is likely to culminate in novel and more efficient strategies for the detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.
Project description:Transmembrane mucins (TMs) are restricted to the apical surface of normal epithelia. In cancer, TMs not only are over-expressed, but also lose polarized distribution. MUC16/CA125 is a high molecular weight TM carrying the CA125 epitope, a well-known molecular marker for human cancers. MUC16 mRNA and protein expression was mildly stimulated by low concentrations of TNF? (2.5 ng/ml) or IFN? (20 IU/ml) when used alone; however, combined treatment with both cytokines resulted in a moderate (3-fold or less) to large (> 10-fold) stimulation of MUC16 mRNA and protein expression in a variety of cancer cell types indicating that this may be a general response. Human cancer tissue microarray analysis indicated that MUC16 expression directly correlates with TNF? and IFN? staining intensities in certain cancers. We show that NF?B is an important mediator of cytokine stimulation of MUC16 since siRNA-mediated knockdown of NF?B/p65 greatly reduced cytokine responsiveness. Finally, we demonstrate that the 250 bp proximal promoter region of MUC16 contains an NF?B binding site that accounts for a large portion of the TNF? response. Developing methods to manipulate MUC16 expression could provide new approaches to treating cancers whose growth or metastasis is characterized by elevated levels of TMs, including MUC16.
Project description:To examine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in MUC16 (CA125) and MUC1 (CA15.3) in relation to ovarian cancer risk and survival.We genotyped germline variants of MUC16 (rs2547065, rs1559168, rs12984471, rs2121133) and MUC1 (rs2070803, rs4072037, rs1045253) using samples collected from 758 ovarian cancer cases and 788 controls enrolled in the New England Case-Control Study between 2003 and 2008. We calculated age-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for disease risk using unconditional and polytomous logistic regression and hazard ratios (HR) for survival using Cox proportional hazard ratios. In a subset of cases, we compared log-normalized CA125 values by genotype using generalized linear models.Cases homozygous for the variant allele of MUC16 SNP, rs12984471, had poorer overall survival (log-rank p = 0.03) and higher CA125 levels, especially cases over age 65 (p = 0.01). For MUC1 SNP, rs4072037, women homozygous for the G variant had a non-significantly decreased risk for serous invasive types but elevated risk for serous borderline tumors, mucinous borderline and invasive tumors, and endometrioid tumors. Women with the variant allele of MUC16 SNP, rs2547065, especially those who were homozygous had an elevated risk for ovarian cancer; but this association was not confirmed in an independent dataset.This targeted screen of seven polymorphisms of MUC16 and MUC1 genes failed to identify and confirm effects on ovarian cancer risk overall. However, there may be effects of MUC16 rs12984471 on survival and MUC1 rs4072037 on risk for histologic types of ovarian cancer other than invasive serous. Further study is warranted.
Project description:High-grade epithelial ovarian cancer kills more women than any other gynecologic cancer and is rarely diagnosed at an early stage. We sought to identify tumor-associated antigens (TAA) as candidate diagnostic and/or immunotherapeutic targets by taking advantage of tumor autoantibody responses in individuals with ovarian cancer. Plasma-derived IgG from a pool of five patients with advanced ovarian cancer was subjected to iterative biopanning using a library of bacteriophage MS2 virus-like particles (MS2-VLPs) displaying diverse short random peptides. After two rounds of biopanning, we analyzed the selectant population of MS2-VLPs by Ion Torrent deep sequencing. One of the top 25 most abundant peptides identified (DISGTNTSRA) had sequence similarity to cancer antigen 125 (CA125/MUC16), a well-known ovarian cancer-associated antigen. Mice immunized with MS2-DISGTNTSRA generated antibodies that cross-reacted with purified soluble CA125 from ovarian cancer cells but not membrane-bound CA125, indicating that the DISGTNTSRA peptide was a CA125/MUC16 peptide mimic of soluble CA125. Preoperative ovarian cancer patient plasma (n = 100) was assessed for anti-DISGTNTSRA, anti-CA125, and CA125. Patients with normal CA125 (<35 IU/mL) at the time of diagnosis had significantly more antibodies to DISGTNTSRA and to CA125 than those patients who had high CA125 (>35 IU/mL). A statistically significant survival advantage was observed for patients who had either normal CA125 and/or higher concentrations of antibodies to CA125 at the time of diagnosis. These data show the feasibility of using deep sequence-coupled biopanning to identify TAA autoantibody responses from cancer patient plasma and suggest a possible antibody-mediated mechanism for low CA125 plasma concentrations in some ovarian cancer patients.
Project description:CA125, the most widely used ovarian cancer biomarker, was first identified approximately 35 years ago in an antibody screen against ovarian cancer antigen. Two decades later, it was cloned and characterized to be a transmembrane mucin, MUC16. Since then, several studies have investigated its expression, functional, and mechanistic involvement in multiple cancer types. Antibody-based therapeutic approaches primarily using antibodies against the tandem repeat domains of MUC16 (e.g., oregovomab and abagovomab) have been the modus operandi for MUC16-targeted therapy, but have met with very limited success. In addition, efforts have been also made to disrupt the functional cooperation of MUC16 and its interacting partners; for example, use of a novel immunoadhesin HN125 to interfere MUC16 binding to mesothelin. Since the identification of CA125 to be MUC16, it is hypothesized to undergo proteolytic cleavage, a process that is considered to be critical in determining the kinetics of MUC16 shedding as well as generation of a cell-associated carboxyl-terminal fragment with potential oncogenic functions. In addition to our experimental demonstration of MUC16 cleavage, recent studies have demonstrated the functional importance of carboxyl terminal fragments of MUC16 in multiple tumor types. Here, we provide how our understanding of the basic biologic processes involving MUC16 influences our approach toward MUC16-targeted therapy.
Project description:The targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics represents an ongoing challenge in the field of drug development. TRAIL is a promising cancer drug but its activity profile could benefit from a cancer-selective delivery mechanism, which would reduce potential side effects and increase treatment efficiencies. We recently developed the novel TRAIL-based drug platform TR3, a genetically fused trimer with the capacity for further molecular modifications such as the addition of tumor-directed targeting moieties. MUC16 (CA125) is a well characterized biomarker in several human malignancies including ovarian, pancreatic and breast cancer. Mesothelin is known to interact with MUC16 with high affinity. In order to deliver TR3 selectively to MUC16-expressing cancers, we investigated the possibility of targeted TR3 delivery employing the high affinity mesothelin/MUC16 ligand/receptor interaction.Using genetic engineering, we designed the novel cancer drug Meso-TR3, a fusion protein between native mesothelin and TR3. The recombinant proteins were produced with mammalian HEK293T cells. Meso-TR3 was characterized for binding selectivity and killing efficacy against MUC16-positive cancer cells and controls that lack MUC16 expression. Drug efficacy experiments were performed in vitro and in vivo employing an intraperitoneal xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer.Similar to soluble mesothelin itself, the strong MUC16 binding property was retained in the Meso-TR3 fusion protein. The high affinity ligand/receptor interaction was associated with a selective accumulation of the cancer drug on MUC16-expressing cancer targets and directly correlated with increased killing activity in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer. The relevance of the mesothelin/MUC16 interaction for attaching Meso-TR3 to the cancer cells was verified by competitive blocking experiments using soluble mesothelin. Mechanistic studies using soluble DR5-Fc and caspase blocking assays confirmed engagement of the extrinsic death receptor pathway. Compared to non-targeted TR3, Meso-TR3 displayed a much reduced killing potency on cells that lack MUC16.Soluble Meso-TR3 targets the cancer biomarker MUC16 in vitro and in vivo. Following attachment to the tumor via surface bound MUC16, Meso-TR3 acquires full activation with superior killing profiles compared to non-targeted TR3, while its bioactivity is substantially reduced on cells that lack the tumor marker. This prodrug phenomenon represents a highly desirable property because it has the potential to enhance cancer killing with fewer side-effects than non-targeted TRAIL-based therapeutics. Thus, further exploration of this novel fusion protein is warranted as a possible therapeutic for patients with MUC16-positive malignancies.