Open Access Technical advance

Expanded clinical and experimental use of SOX11 - using a monoclonal antibody

Lena Nordström12, Ulrika Andréasson12, Mats Jerkeman3, Michael Dictor4, Carl Borrebaeck12 and Sara Ek12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Immunotechnology, Lund University, BMCD13, Lund, SE-221 84, Sweden

2 CREATE Health, Lund University, BMCD13, Lund, SE-221 84, Sweden

3 Department of Oncology, Lund University, BMCD13, Lund, SE-221 84, Sweden

4 Department of Pathology, Lund University, BMCD13, Lund, SE-221 84, Sweden

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:269  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-269

Published: 27 June 2012



The transcription factor SOX11 is of diagnostic and prognostic importance in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), respectively. Thus, there is an unmet clinical and experimental need for SOX11-targeting assays with low background, high specificity and robust performance in multiple applications, including immunohistochemistry (IHC-P) and flow cytometry, which until now has been lacking.


We have developed SOX11-C1, a monoclonal mouse antibody targeting SOX11, and successfully evaluated its performance in western blots (WB), IHC-P, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.


We confirm the importance of SOX11 as a diagnostic antigen in MCL as 100% of tissue micro array (TMA) cases show bright nuclear staining, using the SOX11-C1 antibody in IHC-P. We also show that previous reports of weak SOX11 immunostaining in a fraction of hairy cell leukemias (HCL) are not confirmed using SOX11-C1, which is consistent with the lack of transcription. Thus, high sensitivity and improved specificity are demonstrated using the monoclonal SOX11-C1 antibody. Furthermore, we show for the first time that flow cytometry can be used to separate SOX11 positive and negative cell lines and primary tumors. Of note, SOX11-C1 shows no nonspecific binding to primary B or T cells in blood and thus, can be used for analysis of B and T cell lymphomas from complex clinical samples. Dilution experiments showed that low frequencies of malignant cells (~1%) are detectable above background using SOX11 as a discriminant antigen in flow cytometry.


The novel monoclonal SOX11-specific antibody offers high sensitivity and improved specificity in IHC-P based detection of MCL and its expanded use in flow cytometry analysis of blood and tissue samples may allow a convenient approach to early diagnosis and follow-up of MCL patients.

SOX11; Flow cytometry; Immunohistochemistry; Transcription factor; B cell lymphoma diagnostics