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The calcium-binding protein S100P in normal and malignant human tissues

Seppo Parkkila12*, Pei-wen Pan1, Aoife Ward1, Adriana Gibadulinova3, Ingrid Oveckova3, Silvia Pastorekova3, Jaromir Pastorek3, Alejandra Rodriguez Martinez1, Henrik O Helin1 and Jorma Isola1

Author affiliations

1 Institute of Medical Technology, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

2 School of Medicine, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

3 Institute of Virology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

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Citation and License

BMC Clinical Pathology 2008, 8:2  doi:10.1186/1472-6890-8-2

Published: 18 February 2008



S100P is a Ca2+ binding protein overexpressed in a variety of cancers, and thus, has been considered a potential tumor biomarker. Very little has been studied about its normal expression and functions.


We examined S100P expression in normal human tissues by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. S100P protein expression was also studied in a series of tumors, consisting of 74 ovarian, 11 pancreatic, 56 gastric, 57 colorectal, 89 breast and 193 prostate carcinomas using a novel anti-S100P monoclonal antibody.


Among the normal tissues, the highest S100P mRNA levels were observed in the placenta and esophagus. Moderate signals were also detected in the stomach, duodenum, large intestine, prostate and leukocytes. At the protein level, the highest reactions for S100P were seen in the placenta and stomach. Immunostaining of tumor specimens showed that S100P protein is expressed in all the tumor categories included in the study, being most prevalent in gastric tumors.


Based on our observations, S100P is widely expressed in both normal and malignant tissues. The high expression in some tumors suggests that it may represent a potential target molecule for future diagnostic and therapeutic applications.