Aberrant expression of muc3 and muc4 membrane-associated mucins and sialyl lex antigen in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia

Hee Ug Park, Jong Woo Kim, Grace E. Kim, Han Ik Bae, Suzanne C. Crawley, Stacey C. Yang, James R. Gum, Surinder K. Batra, Karine Rousseau, Dallas M. Swallow, Marvin H. Sleisenger, Young S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Introduction Ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas has recently been suggested to arise from histologically identifiable ductal lesions known as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanINs). Altered levels and patterns of mucin gene expression have been reported to occur in epithelial cancers. Aim To examine the pattern of expression of membrane-associated mucins, MUC3 and MUC4, and a mucin-associated carbohydrate tumor antigen, sialyl Lex, in these precursor lesions and ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Methodology A total of 144 PanIN lesions and 85 cases of ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were examined by using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization methods. Results MUC3 showed a progressive increase in expression in PanINs of increasing dysplasia and was also highly expressed in ductal adenocarcinoma. In contrast, neoexpression of MUC4 and sialyl Lex antigen was observed, mainly in PanIN-3 and ductal adenocarcinoma. In addition, a decrease in the expression of MUC3 and MUC4 was correlated with the degree of de-differentiation of the tumor. Conclusion Aberrant expression of membrane mucins MUC3 and MUC4 and of a mucin-associated carbohydrate tumor antigen Sialyl Lex in PanINs and adenocarcinoma further supports the progression model for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e48-e54
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • MUC3
  • MUC4
  • Mucin
  • Neoplasia
  • Pancreas
  • Sialyl Lex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • LPN and LVN


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