Patterns of splice variant CD44 expression by normal human urothelium in situ and in vitro and by bladder-carcinoma cell lines

J. Southgate*, L. K. Trejdosiewicz, B. Smith, P. J. Selby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD44 core and splice variant exon expression was investigated in the stratified transitional epithelium of the urinary tract and in normal and malignant bladder epithelial cell lines in vitro. Antibodies against core CD44 epitopes and splice exon variants v3, v4/5, v5 and v6 showed an intense reaction in the basal and lower intermediate urothelial cell layers, which was consistently lost from the upper intermediate and superficial cell layers. Seven independent cell lines established from normal human urothelium expressed complex multiple-spliced CD44 mRNA transcripts when tested by RT-PCR and were positive with antibodies against CD44 core epitopes and splice variants v3, v4/5, v5 and v6. Of the 13 bladder-carcinoma cell lines, all were positive for CD44 core. The more differentiated cell lines had retained some splice-variant antibody reactivity and showed multiple but less complex CD44 mRNA transcript patterns, compared with normal cells. Anaplastic cell lines did not react with variant antibodies and did not contain multiple-spliced CD44 transcripts. These data suggest that loss of alternatively-spliced CD44 may reflect a selection pressure in the evolution of anaplastic bladder cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 1995

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