Fen1 expression: a novel marker for cell proliferation

Emma Warbrick, Philip J Coates, Peter A Hall

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    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The identification of antigens whose expression is associated with the cell cycle is a particularly attractive method with which to define proliferative populations in histological and cytological preparations. A polyclonal antibody 3220 has been raised which recognizes the structure-specific endonuclease Fen1 and can be used for a wide range of applications including western blotting, immunoprecipitation and immunohistochemical analysis. This antibody has been used to examine Fen1 levels by immunoblotting and its subcellular localization in cultured cells and tissue samples by immunostaining. Although the role Fen1 plays in DNA replication has been well characterized, its function in DNA repair is not so clear. The possible roles of Fen1 in repair have been investigated by examining any changes in level or localization of Fen1 in response to DNA damaging agents. We find that Fen1 is a nuclear antigen, that it is expressed by cycling cells, and that it co-localizes with PCNA and polymerase alpha during S phase. Fen1 expression is topologically regulated in vivo and is associated with proliferative populations. No change has been found in either patterns or levels of Fen1 expression induced by DNA damaging agents, either in vivo or in vitro. This anti-Fen1 antiserum is well suited to the analysis of proliferation in histological material, since (1) the proportion of labelled cells equals the experimentally determined growth fraction in an experimental xenograft system and (2) unlike markers such as PCNA, Fen1 is not induced by DNA damage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)319-324
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Pathology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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