Plasma levels of OLFM4 in normals and patients with gastrointestinal cancer

Stine N. Clemmensen, Anders J. Glenthøj, Sara Heebøll, Hans Jørgen Nielsen, Claus Koch, Niels Borregaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4) is a secreted glycoprotein predominantly expressed in bone marrow and gastrointestinal tissues. Aberrant expression of OLFM4 has been shown in several cancers. However, the clinical significance hereof is currently controversial. OLFM4 has been proposed as a candidate biomarker of gastrointestinal cancers. To address this, we developed monoclonal antibodies against synthetic peptides representing various segments of OLFM4. We examined expression of OLFM4 in epithelial cells by immunohistochemistry and found that OLFM4 is highly expressed in proliferating benign epithelial cells and in some carcinoma cells. We developed an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay for OLFM4 and investigated whether plasma levels of OLFM4 reflect colorectal malignancies, but were unable to see any such association. Instead, we observed two populations of individuals with respect to OLFM4 levels in plasma, the majority with OLFM4 in plasma between 0 and 0.1 μg/ml, mean 0.028 μg/ml while 10% of both normals and patients with cancers had OLFM4 between 4 and 60 μg/ml, mean 15 μg/ml. The levels were constant over time. The background for this high plasma level is not known, but must be taken into account if OLFM4 is used as biomarker for GI cancers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2865-2873
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Intestinal stem cells
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Neutrophil subsets
  • Olfactomedin 4
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Epithelial Cells/metabolism
  • Neutrophils/metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatty Liver/genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Male
  • Blotting, Western
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor/blood
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/blood


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