Mucin1 (MUC1) is a highly glycosylated transmembrane protein that plays a crucial role in the lubrication and protection of normal epithelial cells. However, MUC1 has emerged as a potential target for cancer therapy because it is overexpressed and functions in several types of cancers. Recently, we produced a monoclonal antibody (the anti-hMUC1 antibody) specific to the extracellular region of the MUC1 subunit MUC1-C to evaluate the utility of using anti-MUC1 antibodies in pancreatic cancer models. The anti-hMUC1 antibody recognized the MUC1-C protein in pancreatic cancer cells. Based on immunostaining and confocal image analyses, the anti-hMUC1 antibody initially bound to the cell membrane then was internalized in cancer cells that express MUC1. The anti-hMUC1 antibody suppressed epidermal growth factor (EGF)-mediated extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression. When the anti-hMUC1 antibody was injected into a xenograft mouse model and traced using an in vivo imaging system, we observed that the anti-hMUC1 antibody was localized to MUC1-expressing pancreatic tumors. Importantly, the anti-hMUC1 monoclonal antibody suppressed pancreatic tumor growth in mice. According to immunohistochemistry analysis using a pancreatic cancer tissue array and the anti-hMUC1 antibody, MUC1 was highly expressed in human pancreatic cancer tissues compared to normal tissues. Therefore, we conclude that the anti-hMUC1 antibody specifically targets MUC1 and suppresses its function in pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo and can be further developed as a promising targeted therapy to treat pancreatic cancer.
Wu, G., Maharjan, S., Kim, D., Kim, J. N., Park, B. K., Koh, H., … Kwon, H. J. (2018). A novel monoclonal antibody targets mucin1 and attenuates growth in pancreatic cancer model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19072004