The Relationship between Mhc Antigen Expression and Metastasis

Jacob Gopas, Bracha Rager, Menashe Bar-Eli, Günter J. Hämmerling, Shraga Segalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the involvement of normal or aberrant major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene products in cancer focusing on its role in affecting the development of metastases. The determination of MHC changes on tumors in comparison to normal tissues help to define useful new markers in immunopathology. The development of monoclonal antibodies against specific HLA products and the use of sensitive histochemical preparations have shown that malignant transformation of cells may be associated with changes in the expression of HLA class I antigens. Both class I and II antigens show the ability to be induced and modulated by a variety of stimuli that include immune interferon. Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) exhibits more rapid growth and earlier metastasis than other lung malignancies. Neuroblastoma and melanoma cell lines with amplified N-myc and c-myc oncogenes, respectively, show the downregulation of MHC class I gene expression. These findings suggest that the downregulation of MHC genes can be a common aspect of malignant transformation mediated by oncogenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-115
Number of pages27
JournalAdvances in Cancer Research
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989


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