TSP50, a possible protease in human testes, is activated in breast cancer epithelial cells

Jidong Shan, Liming Yuan, Hao Peng Xu, Qianxun Xiao, Nicholas Chiorazzi, Saul Teichberg, Daniel Budman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Initial studies have identified TSP50 as a human testes-specific gene that is demethylated in breast cancer. In this study, we will present new data related to the TSP50 gene. We have found that the TSP50 gene product shares a similar enzymatic structure with many serine proteases. However, the most critical catalytic site, serine, has been replaced by threonine. Western analysis revealed that in human testes, the TSP50 antibody detected two closely positioned protein bands whose estimated molecular masses were 37 kDa, whereas in a large portion of breast cancer tissues, but not normal control tissues, only one band was present. Immunohistochemistry assays found TSP50 proteins located in the spermatocytes of human testes, whereas in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry confirmed that gene activation in breast tumors took place in malignant mammary epithelial cells. These results suggested that the normal function of the TSP50 gene was involved in spermatogenesis, whereas the up-regulation of TSP50 in many breast cancer patients not only indicated that it might be a novel biomarker for this disease but also encouraged us to further explore the possibility of whether it was an oncogene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-294
Number of pages5
JournalCancer research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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