Folate-binding proteins (FBP), which are molecules relevant in folate metabolism, are overexpressed in ovarian carcinomas, as detected by the monoclonal antibodies (MAb) MOv18 and MOv19, which recognise two different epitopes of the gp38/FBP. In this paper, features of the FBP such as the distribution on normal tissues and the release in biological fluids of normal and tumour origin have been investigated. Immunohistochemical analyses on frozen sections of normal tissues showed the presence of the gp38/FBP on some epithelia. The reactivity of both the MAb on Fallopian tubes was intense and comparable to that observed on ovary carcinoma sections. The kidney, bronchial glands, alveolar epithelium of the lung, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, breast and thyroid showed different levels of staining. By MOv18/MOv19 double-determinant immunoradiometric assay (DDIRMA), the gp38/FBP was found in soluble form in ascitic fluid, serum and urine of nude mice in which the human ovary carcinoma cell line IGROV1 grew as ascitic carcinomatosis. In human biological fluids, the gp38/FBP was detected in ascites of 60% of ovarian carcinoma patients, and in 29% of those with other carcinomas, but not in patients with non-epithelial tumours or with other non-tumoral pathologies. The mean serum arbitrary units (a.u.)/ml values of ovary carcinoma patients were significantly different to those of healthy donors or patients with endometriosis (P <0.005 and P <0.01, respectively), but not when compared to the sera of lung carcinoma patients. In addition, the sensitivity of DDIRMA was poor, since only 24% of the ovary carcinoma patients were positive with this assay. When a restricted number of cases selected for the presence of tumour cells in the ascites was examined, the percentage of DDIRMA-positive sera and ascites rose to 41 and 94%, respectively. In the urine, a strong reactivity was observed in the samples of both normal and tumour origin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research