A novel anti-MUC1 antibody against the MUC1 cytoplasmic tail domain: use in sensitive identification of poorly differentiated cells in adenocarcinoma of the stomach

Gastric Cancer. 2012 Oct;15(4):370-81. doi: 10.1007/s10120-011-0125-2. Epub 2012 Jan 12.


Background: Isolated cancer cells of non-solid type poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (por2) or signet-ring cell carcinoma (sig) are frequently seen in scirrhous gastric cancers with a very poor prognosis. These cells are often scattered in granulation tissue or desmoplastic fibrotic tissue and tend to be overlooked in routine pathological examination. We aimed to raise a novel antibody that can identify the isolated cancer cells easily.

Methods: Because the MUC1 cytoplasmic tail domain (CTD) has many biological roles including tumor progression and cell adhesion disturbance and is expected to be expressed in isolated cancer cells, we raised a novel monoclonal antibody (MAb) MUC1-014E against an intracellular nonrepeating 19-amino-acid sequence (RYVPPSSTDRSPYEKVSAG: N-1217-1235-C) of the MUC1 CTD, using a synthetic peptide including the 7-amino-acid epitope (STDRSPY: N-1223-1229-C).

Results: In the immunohistochemical staining of 107 gastrectomy specimens including 48 por2 and 31 sig lesions, the MAb MUC1-014E showed high rates of positive staining (≥5% of carcinoma cells stained) for por2 (100%) and sig (97%), and of the highest intensity staining (4+, ≥75% of carcinoma cells stained) for por2 (100%) and sig (90%). In the 89 biopsy specimens including 82 por2 and 38 sig lesions, the MAb MUC1-014E showed high rates of positive staining for por2 (100%) and sig (100%) and of 4+ staining for por2 (87%) and sig (84%). All the rates were significantly higher than those with cytokeratins (AE1/AE3 or CAM5.2).

Conclusions: The MAb MUC1-014E is very useful for accurate detection of isolated cancer cells in scirrhous gastric cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma, Scirrhous / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Scirrhous / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Scirrhous / surgery
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell / surgery
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytoplasm / immunology
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Mucosa / cytology
  • Gastric Mucosa / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mucin-1 / immunology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • MUC1 protein, human
  • Mucin-1