[en] bone sialoprotein ; uterine cervix ; squamous intraepithelial lesions ; cancer ; human papillomavirus
[en] Bone sialoprotein (BSP) is a secreted glycoprotein primarily found in the mineral compartment of developing bones. BSP is detected in a variety of human cancers, particularly those that metastasize to the skeleton. High expression of BSP in breast and prostate primary carcinomas is associated with progression and bone metastases development. Since squamous cell carcinoma (SCCs) of the uterine cervix also frequently metastasizes to bone, we investigated whether BSP is expressed in human cervical cancer. We examined BSP expression in cervical tissue samples from 47 patients, including 19 normal tissues, 20 squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) (9 low and 11 high grade) and 8 invasive SCCs. BSP protein expression was evaluated by the immunophosphatase technique using a BSP polyclonal antibody in paraffin-embedded cervical biopsies. The abundance of BSP protein was significantly higher in invasive SCCs and high grade SILs than in normal cervix tissue samples and low grade SILs, which showed no or a low level of anti-BSP immunoreactivity. In situ hybridization experiments performed on representative cervix invasive SCCs frozen sections revealed that BSP transcripts were detectable in these lesions. Our study demonstrates that BSP expression is a common feature in high grade SILs and invasive SCCs of the uterine cervix. The prognostic value of BSP detection in these lesions and the potential role of BSP as an angiogenic factor in this type of cancer are currently under investigation.