Journal of molecular histology

Inhibin/activin-betaE subunit in normal and malignant human cervical tissue and cervical cancer cell lines.

PMID 20033758


Inhibins are dimeric glycoproteins, composed of an alpha-subunit and one of two possible beta-subunits (betaA or betaB), with substantial roles in human reproduction and in endocrine-responsive tumours. Recently a novel beta subunit named betaE was described, although it is still unclear if normal or cancerous cervical epithelial cells as well as cervical cancer cell lines can synthesise the novel inhibin-betaE subunit. About 4 normal cervical tissue samples together with 10 specimens of well-differentiated squamous cervical cancer and adenocarcinoma of the cervix were immunohistochemical analyzed. Additionally, two cervical carcinoma cell lines (HeLa and CaSki) were analyzed by immunofluorescence and RT-PCR for the expression of this novel subunit. We demonstrated for the first time an immunolabelling of the inhibin-betaE subunit in normal and malignant cervical tissue, as well as cervical cancer cells. Although the physiological role is still quite unclear in cervical tissue, inhibin-betaE might play important roles in carcinogenesis. Moreover, the synthesis of this subunit in cervical carcinoma cell lines of squamous and glandular epithelial origins also allows the use of these cell lines in elucidating its functions in cervical cancer pathogenesis. However, since the expression of the inhibin-betaE is minimal in HeLa cells as assessed by immunofluorescence and RT-PCR, the CaSki cell line might be a better model for further functional experiments regarding cervical cancer pathogenesis.