Osteopontin (OPN) and neoplastic disease: Circulating levels and tissue distribution

Robert Earl Devoll, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


OPN is a secreted phosphate containing protein which is expressed by osteoblasts and a variety of other cells in vivo. Data from in vitro studies has accumulated which relates OPN to cellular transformation. We hypothesize that OPN expression is associated with neoplastic disease in humans as suggested by cell culture models. The overall objective of the current study was to determine the tissue distribution of OPN in human malignancy and to determine whether or not a correlation exists between OPN serum levels and malignancy. At the inception of this project, no study had been made demonstrating the relevance of OPN expression with naturally occurring neoplastic disease in humans. To date, few studies have reported OPN distribution in human neoplasia and are limited by either the number of specimens analyzed or the technique used in analysis. In this dissertation study, OPN was purified from human milk and $\alpha$-OPN antiserum developed and characterized. Following antibody development, the distribution and prevalence of OPN in human oral squamous cell carcinoma and human prostate carcinoma was evaluated using immunohistochemical localization. OPN immunolocalization was found in a high percentage of oral epithelial dysplasia and oral squamous cell carcinoma in humans. One oral squamous cell carcinoma cells line, UMSCC-1, was found to express OPN mRNA using Northern blotting. OPN localized to a high percentage of primary prostate adenocarcinomas. OPN localized to 52% of androgen dependent cases and 100% of androgen independent cases. Androgen dependent cell lines such as LNCap and NbE showed minimal OPN mRNA expression while the androgen independent lines C4-2 and PC3 produced ample OPN mRNA. An OPN sandwich assay was developed and used to determine the serum level of OPN in normal males, patients with BPH (benign prostate hypertrophy), and patients with prostate carcinoma. No statistically significant difference was found in OPN serum levels among the three groups. However, a trend of increasing OPN in the serum was noted in patients with BPH and prostate cancer.

Subject Area

Oncology|Pathology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Devoll, Robert Earl, "Osteopontin (OPN) and neoplastic disease: Circulating levels and tissue distribution" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732764.