An immune response manifested by the common occurrence of annexins I and II autoantibodies and high circulating levels of IL-6 in lung cancer.


The identification of circulating tumor antigens or their related autoantibodies provides a means for early cancer diagnosis as well as leads for therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify proteins that commonly induce a humoral response in lung cancer by using a proteomic approach and to investigate biological processes that may be associated with the development of autoantibodies. Aliquots of solubilized proteins from a lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549) and from lung tumors were subjected to two-dimensional PAGE, followed by Western blot analysis in which individual sera were tested for primary antibodies. Sera from 54 newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer and 60 patients with other cancers and from 61 noncancer controls were analyzed. Sera from 60% of patients with lung adenocarcinoma and 33% of patients with squamous cell lung carcinoma but none of the noncancer controls exhibited IgG-based reactivity against proteins identified as glycosylated annexins I and/or II. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that annexin I was expressed diffusely in neoplastic cells in lung tumor tissues, whereas annexin II was predominant at the cell surface. Interestingly, IL-6 levels were significantly higher in sera of antibody-positive lung cancer patients compared with antibody-negative patients and controls. We conclude that an immune response manifested by annexins I and II autoantibodies occurs commonly in lung cancer and is associated with high circulating levels of an inflammatory cytokine. The proteomic approach we have implemented has utility for the development of serum-based assays for cancer diagnosis as we report in this paper on the discovery of antiannexins I and/or II in sera from patients with lung cancer.


One biomarker makes reference to this publication:

  • Beer DG
  • Brichory FM
  • Giordano TJ
  • Hanash SM
  • Krause MC
  • Misek DE
  • Yim AM
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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2001, 98 (17)