Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining in breast cancer shows both gain and loss of COX2 expression with disease risk and progression. We investigated four common COX2 antibody clones and found high specificity for purified human COX2 for three clones; however, recognition of COX2 in cell lysates was clone dependent. Biochemical characterization revealed two distinct forms of COX2, with SP21 recognizing an S-nitrosylated form, and CX229 and CX294 recognizing non-nitrosylated COX2 antigen. We found S-nitrosylated and non-nitrosylated COX2 occupy different subcellular locations in normal and breast cancer tissue, implicating distinct synthetic/trafficking pathways and function. Dual stains of ~2000 breast cancer cases show early-onset breast cancer had increased expression of both forms of COX2 compared to postmenopausal cases. Our results highlight the strengths of using multiple, highly characterized antibody clones for COX2 IHC studies and raise the prospect that S-nitrosylation of COX2 may play a role in breast cancer biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)