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αB-crystallin is a member of a small family of thermal shock proteins that protects cells from stress. Because of lack of its expression in peripheral blood leukocytes, it was proposed as a molecular marker of circulating tumor cells in canine mammary gland tumors. The aim of the present study was to determine if αB-crystallin shows stability of expression, what is the requirement for this type of marker. It was also assessed whether there is co-expression of αB-crystallin with the basal marker, cytokeratin 17. For this purpose, samples of various types of canine mammary gland tumors of epithelial origin, were selected. Using RT-qPCR, we have found αB-crystallin and cytokeratin 17 co-expression in benign and malignant canine mammary gland tumors. It has been demonstrated that the expression of αB-crystallin in tested neoplastic samples is not stable in comparison to the control group. Furthermore αB-crystallin overor down- expression was associated witch the same cytokeratin 17 pattern. αB-crystallin can be a marker of circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream, but for cancers in which basal marker expression occurs and thus not universal for all cancers originating from the mammary gland tissue.
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