, Volume 23, Issue 5-6, pp 453-460

Ectopic expression of N-acetylglucosamine 6-O-sulfotransferase 2 in chemotherapy-resistant ovarian adenocarcinomas

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Mucinous and clear cell adenocarcinomas are the major histological types of ovarian epithelial cancer and are associated with a poor prognosis due to their resistance to chemotherapy. A novel tumor marker specific for ovarian mucinous and clear cell adenocarcinomas would be helpful for overcoming these serious diseases. We showed previously by enzymological characterization and RT-PCR that colonic mucinous adenocarcinoma tissues ectopically express GlcNAc6ST-2, a member of the carbohydrate 6-O-sulfotransferase family (Seko, A. et al. (2002) Glycobiology 12, 379–388). Here, we prepared a GlcNAc6ST-2-specific polyclonal antibody for immunohistochemical analysis and found that GlcNAc6ST-2 is ectopically expressed by not only colonic mucinous adenocarcinomas but also ovarian mucinous, clear cell and papillary serous adenocarcinomas. In contrast, solid serous adenocarcinomas, endometrioid adenocarcinomas, and mucinous adenomas expressed GlcNAc6ST-2 much less frequently or not at all. RT-PCR analysis confirmed that GlcNAc6ST-2 transcripts are expressed in ovarian mucinous adenocarcinomas but not in mucinous adenomas. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis using sulfated glycan-specific monoclonal antibodies showed that ovarian adenocarcinoma cells express GlcNAc 6-O-sulfated glycans, including an L-selectin ligand and its related glycans. These results indicate that GlcNAc6ST-2 would be a novel tumor antigen that is specifically expressed in ovarian mucinous, clear cell and papillary serous adenocarcinomas.