Mammaglobin B (SCGB2A1) is a novel tumour antigen highly differentially expressed in all major histological types of ovarian cancer: implications for ovarian cancer immunotherapy.


We studied the genetic fingerprints of ovarian cancer and validated the potential of Mammaglobin b (SCGB2A1), one of the top differentially expressed genes found in our analysis, as a novel ovarian tumour rejection antigen.

We profiled 70 ovarian carcinomas including 24 serous (OSPC), 15 clear-cell (CC), 24 endometrioid (EAC) and 7 poorly differentiated tumours, and 14 normal human ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE) control cell lines using the Human HG-U133 Plus 2.0 chip (Affymetrix). Quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry staining techniques were used to validate microarray data at RNA and protein levels for SCGB2A1. Full-length human-recombinant SCGB2A1 was used to pulse monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) to stimulate autologous SCGB2A1-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses against chemo-naive and chemo-resistant autologous ovarian tumours.

Gene expression profiling identified SCGB2A1 as a top differentially expressed gene in all histological ovarian cancer types tested. The CD8+ CTL populations generated against SCGB2A1 were able to consistently induce lysis of autologous primary (chemo-naive) and metastatic/recurrent (chemo-resistant) target tumour cells expressing SCGB2A1, whereas autologous HLA-identical noncancerous cells were not lysed. Cytotoxicity against autologous tumour cells was significantly inhibited by anti-HLA-class I (W6/32) monoclonal antibody. Intracellular cytokine expression measured by flow cytometry showed a striking type 1 cytokine profile (i.e., high IFN-γ secretion) in SCGB2A1-specific CTLs.

SCGB2A1 is a top differentially expressed gene in all major histological types of ovarian cancers and may represent a novel and attractive target for the immunotherapy of patients harbouring recurrent disease resistant to chemotherapy.


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  • Ardighieri L
  • Azodi M
  • Bandiera E
  • Bellone S
  • Betti M
  • Bignotti E
  • Black JD
  • Bortolomai I
  • Cocco E
  • Donzelli C
  • English D
  • Falchetti M
  • Gasparrini S
  • Pecorelli S
  • Ratner E
  • Ravaggi A
  • Romani C
  • Rutherford TJ
  • Santin AD
  • Schwartz PE
  • Siegel ER
  • Silasi DA
  • Tassi R
  • Todeschini P
  • Zanotti L
PubMed ID
Appears In
Br J Cancer, 2013, 109 (2)