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Mammaglobin B expression in human endometrial cancer
  1. R. A. Tassi*,
  2. E. Bignotti*,
  3. M. Falchetti,
  4. S. Calza,
  5. A. Ravaggi*,
  6. E. Rossi,
  7. F. Martinelli*,
  8. E. Bandiera*,
  9. S. Pecorelli* and
  10. A. D. Santin*,§
  1. * Division of Gynecologic Oncology,
  2. Department of Pathology, and
  3. Section of Medical Statistics and Biometry, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; and
  4. § Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alessandro D. Santin, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UAMS Medical Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA. Email: santinalessandrod{at}


Mammaglobin B (MGB-2) is an uteroglobin gene family member recently found highly differentially expressed in ovarian cancer by gene expression profiling. To evaluate its potential as a novel endometrial cancer biomarker, in this study we quantified and compared MGB-2 expression at messenger RNA and protein levels in endometrial tumors (endometrioid endometrial cancer [EEC]) with different grades of differentiation. MGB-2 expression was evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in fresh frozen biopsies and paraffin-embedded tissues derived from a total of 70 patients including 50 primary EEC and 20 normal endometria (NECs). High levels of MGB-2 gene expression were detected in 10 of 11 EEC G1 cases (91%), 16 of 17 EEC G2 cases (94%), and 6 of 22 EEC G3 cases (27%) by real-time PCR. In contrast, normal endometrial cells expressed low to negligible levels of MGB-2 by real-time PCR (P= 0.002 EEC vs NEC). Well- and moderately differentiated EECs overexpressed MGB-2 gene at significant higher levels when compared to NECs (P< 0.01). Pairwise differences between both G2 and G1 vs G3 cases for MGB-2 relative gene expression values were also statistically significant (G2 vs G3 P< 0.001, G1 vs G3 P= 0.016). MGB-2 protein expression was detected in 31 (86%) of 36 EEC and 0 of 5 atrophic NEC controls, while seven of eight (88%) of the proliferative/secretory/hyperplastic NECs focally expressed MGB-2 by IHC. MGB-2 is highly expressed in EEC, particularly in well- and moderately differentiated tumors, and may represent a novel molecular marker for EEC.

  • differential expression
  • endometrioid endometrial cancer
  • mammaglobin B
  • tumor marker

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