Changes in protein expression during multistage mouse skin carcinogenesis

Joyce E. Rundhaug*, Irma Gimenez-Conti, Mariana C. Stern, Irina V. Budunova, Kaoru Kiguchi, David K. Bol, Lezlee G. Coghlan, Claudio J. Conti, John DiGiovanni, Susan M. Fischer, Lloyd D. Winberg, Thomas J. Slaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To directly compare the expression patterns of different proteins known to be altered during mouse skin carcinogenesis, serial sections of normal and hyperplastic skin and tumors from various stages of 7,12- dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate- promoted female SENCAR mice were examined by immunohistochemistry. In untreated, normal mouse skin, keratin 1 (K1) and transforming growth factor- β1 (TGFβ1) were strongly expressed in the suprabasal layers, whereas integrin α6β4 was expressed only in basal cells and only moderate staining for transforming growth factor-α (TGFα) was seen. In hyperplastic skin, TGFα expression became stronger, whereas expression of another epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor ligand, heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF), was strongly induced in all epidermal layers from no expression in normal skin. Likewise, the gap-junctional protein connexin 26 (Cx26) became highly expressed in the differentiated granular layers of hyperplastic skin relative to undetectable expression in normal skin. Expression of cyclin D1 in the proliferative cell compartment was seen in all benign and malignant tumors but not in hyperplastic skin. Beginning with very early papillomas (after 10 wk of promotion), expression of (α6β4 in suprabasal cells and small, focal staining for keratin 13 (K13) were seen in some tumors. Later (after 20-30 wk), focal areas of 7-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) activity appeared in a few papillomas, whereas TGFβ1 expression began to decrease. Cx26 and TGFα staining became patchier in some late-stage papillomas (30-40 wk), whereas suprabasal α6β4, K13, and GGT expression progressively increased and K1 expression decreased. Finally, in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), there was an almost complete loss of K1 and a further decline in TGFα, HB-EGF, TGFβ1, and Cx26 expression. On the other hand, almost all SCCs showed suprabasal staining for α6β4 and widespread cyclin D1 and K13 expression, whereas only about half showed positive focal staining for GGT activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Connexin 26
  • Cyclin D1
  • Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor
  • Integrin α6β4
  • Transforming growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in protein expression during multistage mouse skin carcinogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this