Expression of Elf-1 and survivin in non-small cell lung cancer and their relationship to intratumoral microvessel density

Dong-Xia Yang, Nai-E Li, Yun Ma, Yan-Chun Han, Yan Shi
Chinese Journal of Cancer 2010, 29 (4): 396-402

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The expression of transcription factor Elf-1 and inhibitor of apoptosis survivin in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is correlated with the angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and are both factors affecting the cell cycle. This study investigated the expression of Elf-1, survivin, and intratumoral microvessel density (iMVD) assessed by monoclonal antibody CD105 in NSCLC, and explored their correlations with clinicopathologic features and angiogenesis of NSCLC.

METHODS: PowerVision(TM)-9000 immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the expression of Elf-1, survivin, and CD105 in tissue microarrays containing 60 specimens of NSCLC and 9 specimens of normal tissue. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate the protein levels of Elf-1 and survivin in 17 specimens of NSCLC and 5 specimens of normal tissue.

RESULTS: Elf-1 and survivin were detected in 1 of the 9 normal tissues. The positive rates of Elf-1 and survivin in NSCLC were 70.0% and 65.0%, respectively. The expression levels of both Elf-1 and survivin were significantly related to tumor differentiation, lymphatic metastasis, clinical stage, and postoperative survival time (P < 0.05). Overexpression of both were related to poor prognosis: the survival rates were significantly lower in patients with positive expression than in those with negative expression (P < 0.01). Elf-1 expression was positively correlated with survivin expression (r = 0.769, P < 0.01). Elf-1 and survivin expressions were positively correlated with iMVD (r = 0.446, P < 0.01; r = 0.435, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The expression of Elf-1 and survivin in NSCLC is related to differentiation, lymphatic metastasis, clinical stage, and prognosis, and both are positively correlated with iMVD. Detection their combined expression can help to predict the malignant behavior of NSCLC. Blocking the activity of Elf-1 and survivin may be a new way to inhibit angiogenesis in NSCLC.

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