Glucose transporter Glut-1 is detectable in pen-necrotic regions in many human tumor types but not normal tissues: Study using tissue microarrays

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Airley, R ; Evans, AR ; Mobasheri, A ; Hewitt, SM

The hypoxic tumor microenvironment is associated with malignant progression and poor treatment response. The glucose transporter Glut-1 is a prognostic factor and putative hypoxia marker. So far, studies of Glut-1 in cancer have utilised conventional immunohistochemical analysis in a series of individual biopsy or surgical specimens. Tissue microarrays, however, provide a rapid, inexpensive means of profiling biomarker expression. To evaluate hypoxia markers, tissue cores must show architectural features of hypoxia, i.e. viable tissue surrounding necrotic regions. Glut-1 may be a useful biomarker to validate tissue microarrays for use in studies of hypoxia-regulated genes in cancer. In this study, we carried out immunohistochemical detection of Glut-1 protein in many tumor and normal tissue types in a range of tissue microarrays. Glut-1 was frequently found in peri-necrotic regions, occurring in 9/34 lymphomas, 6/12 melanomas, and 5/16 glioblastomas; and in 43/54 lung, 22/84 colon, and 23/60 ovarian tumors. Expression was rare in breast (6/40) and prostate (1/57) tumors, and in normal tissue, was restricted to spleen, tongue and CNS endothelium. In conclusion, tissue microarrays enable the observation of Glut-1 expression in peri-necrotic regions, which may be linked to hypoxia, and reflect previous studies showing differential Glut-1 expression across tumor types and non malignant tissue.
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