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Development and validation of a new monoclonal antibody to mammalian aromatase.

  • Turner, K J
  • Macpherson, S
  • Millar, M R
  • McNeilly, A S
  • Williams, K
  • Cranfield, M
  • Groome, N P
  • Sharpe, R M
  • Fraser, H M
  • Saunders, P T K
Published Article
The Journal of endocrinology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2002
PMID: 11786371


The biosynthesis of oestrogens from androgens is catalysed by the aromatase complex, an essential component of which is the aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450 arom) protein. Expression of a functional P450 arom is essential for normal fertility in males and females and the sequence of the protein is highly conserved. We have raised a new monoclonal antibody against a conserved peptide and validated it on fixed tissue sections of the rat, common marmoset (Callthrix jacchus) and human. The monoclonal antibody was used successfully for Western analysis and specifically reacted with a 55 kDa protein in microsomal extracts. On sections of ovaries in all three species, expression in follicles was specific to the mural granulosa cells of antral follicles and was present in corpora lutea. In the human and marmoset, staining of luteal cells was markedly heterogeneous and did not appear to vary consistently with the stage of the cycle. The intensity of immunostaining was elevated in corpora lutea from pregnant rats and following human chorionic gonadotropin rescue in the human. In the testis, the highest levels of expression were observed in the Leydig cells within the interstitium. In adult rat and marmoset, and possibly also in the human, some P450 arom was associated with the cytoplasm surrounding elongate spermatids but other germ cells were immunonegative. In conclusion, a new monoclonal antibody specific for P450 arom recognises the protein in rodent, primate and human. Its ability to work on fixed tissue sections will facilitate identification of individual cells expressing P450 arom within complex tissues.


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