Epithelial Membrane Antigen (EMA) [E29]

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Epithelial membrane antigen antibody (EMA) belongs to a heterogeneous family of highly glycosylated transmembrane proteins known as human milk fat globule (HMFG) membrane proteins. This family of antigens is not restricted to breast but may also be found in secretory epithelial cells, to a lesser degree, in non-secretory epithelium (e.g., squamous epithelium) and rarely in non-epithelial cells. EMA is best considered a broad-spectrum antibody that is reactive against many types of adenocarcinoma. Breast and skin adnexal tumors are strongly positive. A lesser degree of staining is seen in carcinomas of the endometrium, kidney, thyroid, stomach, pancreas, lung, colon, ovary, prostate and cervix. Embryonal carcinomas, medullary carcinomas of thyroid, squamous carcinomas, sarcomas, lymphomas, and melanomas all tend to be nonreactive or show rare positive cells. Transitional cell carcinomas may show weak reactivity and anaplastic large cell lymphomas can be positive for EMA.

Intended Use


Species Reactivity



Mouse Monoclonal






Membrane and cytoplasmic

Positive Control

: Colon and breast cancer

1. Verdu M, et al. Clinicopathological and molecular characterization of colorectal micropapillary carcinoma. Mod Pathol. 2011 May;24(5):729-38.
2. Saad RS, et al. The value of epithelial membrane antigen expression in separating benign mesothelial proliferation from malignant mesothelioma: a comparative study. Diagn Cytopathol. 2005 Mar;32(3):156-9.
3. Carbone A, Gloghini A, Volpe R. Immunohistochemistry of Hodgkin and nonHodgkin lymphomas with emphasis on the diagnostic significance of the BNH9 antibody reactivity with anaplastic large cell (CD30 positive) lymphomas. Cancer. 1992 Dec 1;70(11):2691-8.
4. Heyderman E, et al. A new monoclonal antibody to epithelial membrane antigen (EMA)-E29. A comparison of its immunocytochemical reactivity with polyclonal antiEMA antibodies and with another monoclonal antibody, HMFG-2. Br J Cancer. 1985 Sep;52(3):355-61.
5. Center for Disease Control Manual. Guide: Safety Management, NO. CDC-22, Atlanta, GA. April 30, 1976 “Decontamination of Laboratory Sink Drains to Remove Azide Salts.”
6. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Protection of Laboratory workers from occupationally Acquired Infections; Approved guideline-Third Edition CLSI document M29-A3 Wayne, PA 2005.


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