Thymosin β-10 gene overexpression is a general event in human carcinogenesis

Giovanni Santelli, Daniela Califano, Gennaro Chiappetta, Maria Teresa Vento, Paola Cannada Bartoli, Fulvio Zullo, Francesco Trapasso, Giuseppe Viglietto, Alfredo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The β-thymosins comprise a family of structurally related, highly conserved acidic polypeptides, originally isolated from calf thymus. Recently, we have demonstrated the overexpression of thymosin β-10 (TB10) in rat thyroid transformed cell lines and in human thyroid carcinoma tissues and cell lines. To verify whether TB10 overexpression is a general event in the process of carcinogenesis, we have analyzed TB10 mRNA levels in human colon carcinomas, germ cell tumors of different histological types, breast carcinomas, ovarian carcinomas, uterine carcinomas, colon and esophageal carcinoma cell lines. Overexpression of the TB10 gene was detected in all of the neoplastic tissues and cell lines compared to the respective normal tissues. Moreover, the mouse model of skin carcinogenesis induced by the combined action of chemical carcinogens and phorbol esters was used to identify the stage of TB10 gene induction. The expression was almost undetectable in normal keratinocytes, its induction occurred even at the papilloma stage, however a further increased expression was observed in the carcinoma derived cell lines. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis of some breast, colon and ovary carcinoma samples by using specific anti-TB10 antibodies revealed the presence of the TB10 protein in all of the neoplastic tissues, but not in the respective normal tissues. Therefore the TB10 detection may be considered a potential tool for the diagnosis of several human neoplasias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-804
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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