WWOX protein expression in normal human tissues

J Mol Histol. 2006 May;37(3-4):115-25. doi: 10.1007/s10735-006-9046-5. Epub 2006 Aug 29.


WWOX is a putative tumor suppressor gene that spans approximately a 1 Mb genomic region and is the site for the second most common chromosomal fragile site, FRA16D at 16q23. Various studies have focused on the expression of WWOX in human cancer mostly at the RNA level, but little is known about the normal pattern of WWOX protein expression in non-neoplastic tissues. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of WWOX protein expression in normal tissues was performed by means of immunohistochemistry utilizing a very specific anti-WWOX polyclonal antibody. We analyzed tissue cores of human samples representing more than 30 organs, using various tissue microarray (TMA) slides. Due to the potential role of WWOX in sex-steroid metabolism, whole sections from hormonally regulated organs like breast, ovaries, testes and prostate were also analyzed. The results from our study indicate that WWOX is preferentially highly expressed in secretory epithelial cells of reproductive, endocrine and exocrine organs, as well as in ductal epithelial cells from specific segments of the urinary system. Interestingly, we also observed significant WWOX protein expression in various cell types of neural origin including neurons, ependymal cells and astrocytes. No expression of WWOX was detected in adipose, connective, and lymphoid tissues, myelinized structures and blood vessels. By better defining the topographic distribution of WWOX in normal tissues this study provides some insight on the potential physiological role of this novel protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oxidoreductases / analysis*
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / analysis*
  • WW Domain-Containing Oxidoreductase


  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Oxidoreductases
  • WW Domain-Containing Oxidoreductase
  • WWOX protein, human