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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Differential expression of Aquaporin 8 in human colonic epithelial cells and colorectal tumors

Heléne Fischer1, Roger Stenling2, Carlos Rubio3 and Annika Lindblom1*

Author Affiliations

1 Dept. Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

2 Dept. of Pathology, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden

3 Dept. of Pathology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Physiology 2001, 1:1  doi:10.1186/1472-6793-1-1

Published: 23 January 2001



The gene expression pattern in tumor cells differs from that in corresponding normal cells. In order to identify differentially expressed genes in colorectal tumors and normal colorectal epithelium, a differential display experiment was used to compare RNA expression in normal and tumor tissue samples.


One gene fragment was expressed only in normal tissue and not, or to a much lesser extent, in the adenomas, carcinomas and cancer cell lines. The isolated gene fragment was identical to Aquaporin 8 (AQP8), a water channel protein. In situ hybridization demonstrated that AQP8 was expressed in the cells facing the lumen in the normal colonic epithelium.


Our result suggests that the expression of AQP8 is a marker of normal proliferating colonic epithelial cells and suggest these cells to be involved in fluid transport in the colon.