Cripto-1 expression in uveal melanoma: An immunohistochemical study

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Human Cripto, the founder member of the epidermal growth factor-Cripto-FRL1-Cryptic (EGF-CFC) family, plays an important role during early embryonic development and in particular in carcinogenesis and the development of cancer metastases. Cripto-1 is over-expressed in most cancers, but is absent or only weakly expressed in normal cells. For this reason, Cripto-1 could be of potential value in the targeted treatment. There is no information on the expression of Cripto-1 in human uveal melanoma. Cripto-1 reactivity was evaluated by immunohistochemistry on 36 archival uveal melanomas using the polyclonal antibody to Cripto-1. The tumors were divided in to 2 groups. There were 18 uveal melanomas with no intrascleral or extrascleral extension and 18 uveal melanomas with intrascleral/extrascleral extension/liver metastasis. Cripto-1 reactivity was correlated with tumor aggressiveness and cell type. Furthermore, we studied the immunolocalization of Cripto-1 in 4 uveal melanoma cell lines OCM-1, OCM-8, and 92-1, and OMM-1 and in 2 primary uveal melanocyte cultures. Cripto-1 was expressed in both the non-invasive and aggressive uveal melanomas. Cripto-1 was positive in the 4 uveal melanoma cell lines and absent in the primary uveal melanocyte cultures. Retinal tissue did not express Cripto-1. The results suggest that Cripto-1 is expressed in uveal melanoma, negative in the non-neoplastic ocular tissue and point to its use as a target for therapy.

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