Antibody validation and scoring guidelines for ABCG2 immunohistochemical staining in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded colon cancer tissue

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Overexpression of the ATP-dependent drug efflux pump ABCG2 is a major molecular mechanism of multidrug resistance in cancer and might be a predictive biomarker for drug response. Contradictory results have been reported for immunohistochemical studies of ABCG2 protein expression in colorectal cancer (CRC), probably because of the use of different antibodies and scoring approaches. In this study, we systematically studied six commercially available anti-ABCG2 antibodies, using cell lines with up-regulation of ABCG2, and selected one antibody for validation in CRC tissue. Furthermore, we established scoring guidelines for ABCG2 expression based on the clinically used guidelines for HER2 immunohistochemistry assessment in gastric cancer. The guidelines provide a semi-quantitative measure of the basolateral membrane staining of ABCG2 and disregard the apical membrane staining and the cytoplasmic signal. Intra-tumor heterogeneity in ABCG2 immunoreactivity was observed; however, statistical analyses of tissue microarrays (TMAs) and the corresponding whole sections from primary tumors of 57 metastatic CRC patients revealed a strong positive correlation between maximum TMA scores and whole sections, especially when more than one core was used. In conclusion, here, we provide validated results to guide future studies on the associations between ABCG2 immunoreactivity in tumor cells and the benefits of chemotherapeutic treatment in patients with CRC
Original languageEnglish
Article number26997
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2016

ID: 165749465