Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 107, No. 4, 2007
Issue release date: January 2008
Nephron Exp Nephrol 2007;107:e119–e131

Spatial and Temporal Expression Patterns of the Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM/EGP-2) in Developing and Adult Kidneys

Trzpis M. · Popa E.R. · McLaughlin P.M.J. · van Goor H. · Timmer A. · Bosman G.W. · de Leij L.M.F.H. · Harmsen M.C.
To view the fulltext, log in and/or choose pay-per-view option

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Background: The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is expressed by most epithelia and is involved in processes fundamental for morphogenesis, including cell-cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Previously, a role for EpCAM in pancreatic morphogenesis was confirmed in vitro. Furthermore, changes in the EpCAM expression pattern were found in developing lung and thymus and in the regenerating liver. Therefore, EpCAM was proposed to be a morphoregulatory molecule. Methods: Using immunohistochemistry, the expression pattern of human and murine homologues of EpCAM was characterized in adult and embryonic kidneys from humans and human-EpCAM (hEpCAM)-transgenic mice. Results: EpCAM expression was found in the ureteric bud throughout nephrogenesis. EpCAM was not expressed in the metanephric mesenchyme. In comma- and S-shaped bodies, both metanephric mesenchyme derived structures, EpCAM expression appeared by E13.5. In adult kidneys, most epithelia expressed varying levels of EpCAM, as confirmed by double staining for human EpCAM and segment-specific nephron markers. Podocytes were EpCAM negative. At the cellular level, the EpCAM expression shifted from apical in embryonic to basolateral in adult kidneys. Conclusions: The spatiotemporal expression pattern of EpCAM changes during nephrogenesis. In the adult kidney, the expression varies markedly along the nephron. These data provide a basis for further studies on EpCAM in developing and adult kidneys.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Balzar M, Winter MJ, de Boer CJ, Litvinov SV: The biology of the 17-1A antigen (Ep-CAM). J Mol Med 1999;77:699–712.
  2. Balzar M, Bakker HA, Briaire-de-Bruijn IH, Fleuren GJ, Warnaar SO, Litvinov SV: Cytoplasmic tail regulates the intercellular adhesion function of the epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Mol Cell Biol 1998;18:4833–4843.
  3. Osta WA, Chen Y, Mikhitarian K, Mitas M, Salem M, Hannun YA, Cole DJ, Gillanders WE: EpCAM is overexpressed in breast cancer and is a potential target for breast cancer gene therapy. Cancer Res 2004;64:5818–5824.
  4. Tarmann T, Dohr G, Schiechl H, Barth S, Hartmann M: Immunohistochemical detection of an epithelial membrane protein in rat embryos at different stages of development. Acta Anat (Basel) 1990;137:141–145.
  5. Anderson R, Schaible K, Heasman J, Wylie C: Expression of the homophilic adhesion molecule, Ep-CAM, in the mammalian germ line. J Reprod Fertil 1999;116:379–384.
  6. Kasper M, Behrens J, Schuh D, Muller M: Distribution of E-cadherin and Ep-CAM in the human lung during development and after injury. Histochem Cell Biol 1995;103:281–286.
  7. Guillemot JC, Naspetti M, Malergue F, Montcourrier P, Galland F, Naquet P: Ep-CAM transfection in thymic epithelial cell lines triggers the formation of dynamic actin-rich protrusions involved in the organization of epithelial cell layers. Histochem Cell Biol 2001;116:371–378.
  8. de Boer CJ, van Krieken JH, Janssen-van Rhijn CM, Litvinov SV: Expression of Ep-CAM in normal, regenerating, metaplastic, and neoplastic liver. J Pathol 1999;188:201–206.
  9. Cirulli V, Crisa L, Beattie GM, Mally MI, Lopez AD, Fannon A, Ptasznik A, Inverardi L, Ricordi C, Deerinck T, Ellisman M, Reisfeld RA, Hayek A: KSA antigen Ep-CAM mediates cell-cell adhesion of pancreatic epithelial cells: morphoregulatory roles in pancreatic islet development. J Cell Biol 1998;140:1519–1534.
  10. Stephan JP, Roberts PE, Bald L, Lee J, Gu Q, Devaux B, Mather JP: Selective cloning of cell surface proteins involved in organ development: epithelial glycoprotein is involved in normal epithelial differentiation. Endocrinology 1999;140:5841–5854.
  11. Schejter ED, Shilo BZ: Modular tubes: common principles of renal development. Curr Biol 2003;13:R511–R513.
  12. Chuang PT, McMahon AP: Branching morphogenesis of the lung: new molecular insights into an old problem. Trends Cell Biol 2003;13:86–91.
  13. Horb LD, Slack JM: Role of cell division in branching morphogenesis and differentiation of the embryonic pancreas. Int J Dev Biol 2000;44:791–796.
  14. McLaughlin PM, Harmsen MC, Dokter WH, Kroesen BJ, van der Molen H, Brinker MG, Hollema H, Ruiters MH, Buys CH, de Leij LF: The epithelial glycoprotein 2 (EGP-2) promoter-driven epithelial-specific expression of EGP-2 in transgenic mice: a new model to study carcinoma-directed immunotherapy. Cancer Res 2001;61:4105–4111.
  15. Gonzalez L, Anderson I, Deane D, Summers C, Buxton D: Detection of immune system cells in paraffin wax-embedded ovine tissues. J Comp Pathol 2001;125:41–47.
  16. Leroy X, Copin MC, Devisme L, Buisine MP, Aubert JP, Gosselin B, Porchet N: Expression of human mucin genes in normal kidney and renal cell carcinoma. Histopathology 2002;40:450–457.
  17. Bergsagel PL, Timblin CR, Eckhardt L, Laskov R, Kuehl WM: Sequence and expression of a murine cDNA encoding PC326, a novel gene expressed in plasmacytomas but not normal plasma cells. Oncogene 1992;7:2059–2064.
  18. Zegers MM, O’Brien LE, Yu W, Datta A, Mostov KE: Epithelial polarity and tubulogenesis in vitro. Trends Cell Biol 2003;13:169–176.
  19. Munz M, Kieu C, Mack B, Schmitt B, Zeidler R, Gires O: The carcinoma-associated antigen EpCAM upregulates c-myc and induces cell proliferation. Oncogene 2004;23:5748–5758.
  20. Gires O, Kieu C, Fix P, Schmitt B, Munz M, Wollenberg B, Zeidler R: Tumor necrosis factor alpha negatively regulates the expression of the carcinoma-associated antigen epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Cancer 2001;92:620–628.
  21. Ladwein M, Pape UF, Schmidt DS, Schnolzer M, Fiedler S, Langbein L, Franke WW, Moldenhauer G, Zoller M: The cell-cell adhesion molecule EpCAM interacts directly with the tight junction protein claudin-7. Exp Cell Res 2005;309:345–357.
  22. Pauli C, Munz M, Kieu C, Mack B, Breinl P, Wollenberg B, Lang S, Zeidler R, Gires O: Tumor-specific glycosylation of the carcinoma-associated epithelial cell adhesion molecule EpCAM in head and neck carcinomas. Cancer Lett 2003;193:25–32.
  23. Schumacher K, Strehl R, Minuth WW: Detection of glycosylated sites in embryonic rabbit kidney by lectin chemistry. Histochem Cell Biol 2002;118:79–87.
  24. Wujek P, Kida E, Walus M, Wisniewski KE, Golabek AA: N-glycosylation is crucial for folding, trafficking, and stability of human tripeptidyl-peptidase I. J Biol Chem 2004;279:12827–12839.
  25. Li LB, Chen N, Ramamoorthy S, Chi L, Cui XN, Wang LC, Reith ME: The role of N-glycosylation in function and surface trafficking of the human dopamine transporter. J Biol Chem 2004;279:21012–21020.
  26. Arend LJ, Smart AM, Briggs JP: Mouse beta(6) integrin sequence, pattern of expression, and role in kidney development. J Am Soc Nephrol 2000;11:2297–2305.
  27. Cachat F, Lange-Sperandio B, Chang AY, Kiley SC, Thornhill BA, Forbes MS, Chevalier RL: Ureteral obstruction in neonatal mice elicits segment-specific tubular cell responses leading to nephron loss. Kidney Int 2003;63:564–575.
  28. Zhu X, Cheng J, Gao J, Lepor H, Zhang ZT, Pak J, Wu XR: Isolation of mouse THP gene promoter and demonstration of its kidney-specific activity in transgenic mice. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2002;282:F608–F617.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50