Identification of heat shock protein 90 and other proteins as tumour antigens by serological screening of an ovarian carcinoma expression library

Br J Cancer. 2002 Jul 29;87(3):339-43. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600439.


Serological screening of recombinant cDNA expression libraries has been widely used for the identification of tumour antigens in various cancer types. Identification of tumour antigens in ovarian cancer may facilitate the development of vaccine-based therapies and of disease biomarkers. The purpose of our investigation is to identify tumour antigens in ovarian cancer by using the serological analysis of recombinant cDNA expression libraries method. A recombinant ovarian carcinoma cDNA expression library was screened with ascites fluid, pooled from five ovarian cancer patients. Twelve tumour antigens encoded by known genes were isolated, including ribosomal protein S18, heat shock protein 90, JK-recombination signal binding protein, ribonucleoprotein H1, RAN binding protein 7, TG-interacting factor, eukaryotic translation initiation factor p40 subunit, human amyloid precursor protein-binding protein 1, ribosomal protein L8, CDC23, IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1, and ribosomal protein L3. Heat shock protein 90 was chosen for further investigation. The prevalence of hsp90 autoantibodies in ovarian cancer was determined with immunoassay. Sera from 22 normal females, 32 from ovarian cancer (22 stage III/IV, 10 stage I/II), 37 colorectal cancer, 13 breast cancer, 10 lung cancer, 20 benign gynaecologic diseases, and 10 benign breast lesions were screened. Seven (32%) stage III/IV ovarian cancer, 1 (10%) stage I/II ovarian cancer, 1 (3%) colorectal cancer, 1 (8%) breast cancer, and 1 (5%) benign gynaecologic disease sera were found to contain hsp90 autoantibodies. These data support the view that hsp90 autoantibodies are frequently found in late stage ovarian cancer. Hsp90 may, therefore, represent a novel biomarker for ovarian cancer and a candidate ovarian cancer vaccine target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Female
  • Gene Library
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / blood*
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ribosomal Protein L3


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • RPL3 protein, human
  • Ribosomal Protein L3