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Thompson, John A. and Mössinger, S. and Reichhardt, V. and Engels, U. and Beauchemin, N. and Komoss, F. and Kleist, Sabine von and Zimmermann, Wolfgang (1993): A Polymerase-chain-reaction Assay for the Specific Identification of Transcripts Encoded by Individual Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)-gene-family Members. In: International Journal of Cancer, Vol. 55, No. 2: pp. 311-319




Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor marker that belongs to a family of closely related molecules with variable expression patterns. We have developed sets of oligonucleotide primers for the specific amplification of transcripts from individual CEA-family members using the reverse transcriptase/ polymerase chain reaction (RT/PCR). Specific primer sets were designed for CEA, non-specific cross-reacting antigen (NCA), biliary glycoprotein (BGP), carcinoembryonic antigen gene-family members 1, 6 and 7 (CGMI, CGM6 and CGM7), and one set for all pregnancy-specific glycoprotein (PSG) transcripts. Primers were first tested for their specificity against individual cDNA clones and product-hybridization with internal, transcript-specific oligonucleotides. Total RNA from 12 brain and 63 gynecological tumors were then tested for expression of CEA-related transcripts. None were found in tumors located in the brain, including various mesenchymal and neuro-epithelial tumors. CEA and NCA transcripts were, however, present in an adenocarcinoma located in the nasal sinuses. In ovarian mucinous adenocarcinomas, we always found co-expression of CEA and NCA transcripts, and occasionally BGP mRNA. CEA-related transcripts were also found in some serous, endometrioid and clear-cell ovarian carcinomas. CEA, NCA and BGP transcripts were present in endometrial carcinomas of the uterus and cervical carcinomas, whereas uterine leiomyomas were completely negative. No transcripts were found from CGM 1, CGM6, CGM7 or from PSG genes in any of the tumors tested. The PCR data were compared with immunohistochemical investigations of ovarian tumors at the protein level using CEA (26/3/13)-, NCA-50/90 (9A6FR) and NCA-95 (80H3)-specific monoclonal antibodies.