Colon cancer associated transcript-1: A novel RNA expressed in malignant and pre-malignant human tissues

Aviram Nissan*, Alexander Stojadinovic, Stella Mitrani-Rosenbaum, David Halle, Ronit Grinbaum, Marina Roistacher, Andrea Bochem, Baris Emre Dayanc, Gerd Ritter, Ismail Gomceli, Erdal Birol Bostanci, Musa Akoglu, Yao Tseng Chen, Lloyd John Old, Ali Osmay Gure

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) is currently based on fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and colonoscopy, both which can significantly reduce CRC-related mortality. However, FOBT has low-sensitivity and specificity, whereas colonoscopy is labor- and cost-intensive. Therefore, the discovery of novel biomarkers that can be used for improved CRC screening, diagnosis, staging and as targets for novel therapies is of utmost importance. To identify novel CRC biomarkers we utilized representational difference analysis (RDA) and characterized a colon cancer associated transcript (CCAT1), demonstrating consistently strong expression in adenocarcinoma of the colon, while being largely undetectable in normal human tissues (p < 000.1). CCAT1 levels in CRC are on average 235-fold higher than those found in normal mucosa. Importantly, CCAT1 is strongly expressed in tissues representing the early phase of tumorigenesis: in adenomatous polyps and in tumor-proximal colonic epithelium, as well as in later stages of the disease (liver metastasis, for example). In CRC-associated lymph nodes, CCAT1 overexpression is detectable in all H&E positive, and 40.0% of H&E and immunohistochemistry negative lymph nodes, suggesting very high sensitivity. CCAT1 is also overexpressed in 40.0% of peripheral blood samples of patients with CRC but not in healthy controls. CCAT1 is therefore a highly specific and readily detectable marker for CRC and tumor-associated tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1606
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarkers
  • colorectal cancer
  • minimal residual disease
  • non-coding RNA


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