The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 339 - 342 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 4

Developing chick embryos express a protein which shares homology with the nuclear pore complex protein Nup88 present in human tumors

Short Communication | Published: 1 July 2004


1Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, 2Tejerina Foundation, Madrid, 3Department of Nursing I and 4Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain


Nup88 is a nuclear pore complex protein which is overexpressed in a variety of human tumors of the stomach, colon, liver, pancreas, breast, lung, ovary, uterus, prostate and kidney. A monoclonal antibody crossreacting with the yeast Candida albicans and Nup88 was used to investigate the expression of cross-reactive antigens in chick embryos, in an attempt to identify an experimental model for studying the role played by Nup88 during cell development and differentiation. All cells in the trilaminar embryo were labeled with the antibody, but as development advanced and organogenesis was completed, expression of the corresponding antigen became more restricted. Thus, some structures continued to be intensely labeled (skin epithelium, oropharyngeal endothelium, perichondral mesenchymal tissue), whereas others ( muscular tissue, vascular endothelium, respiratory endothelium, digestive tract mucosa, peripheral nerves, medullary white matter and the retinal axons) were more moderately stained. No immunoreactivity was observed in the medullary grey matter or cartilage. A specific band of 53 kDa observed by Western blotting of chick embryo extracts suggested that the chicken antigen recognized by the monoclonal antibody is the homologue of human Nup88, which is associated with the high proliferation and low differentiation of tumor cells. The present results indicate that the role of Nup88 in cell differentiation and organ development could be fruitfully investigated using the developing chick embryo as an experimental model.


chick embryo, antigen expression, Nup88, human tumor, monoclonal antibody C7

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