JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prognostic significance of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling axis molecules and E-cadherin in colorectal cancer

Pavlos Lampropoulos, Adamantia Zizi-Sermpetzoglou, Spyros Rizos, Alkiviadis Kostakis, Nikolaos Nikiteas, Athanasios G Papavassiliou
Tumour Biology: the Journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine 2012, 33 (4): 1005-14
22278155
The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway has been considered both a tumor suppressor and a cancer promoter. Additionally, downregulation of cell adhesion molecules such as E-cadherin plays an important role in the metastatic potential of colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of the present study was to evaluate TGF-β, TGF-β type I receptor (TGF-βR1), TGF-β type II receptor (TGF-βR2), Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin expression in colorectal carcinoma and to correlate the obtained data with other standard prognostic parameters, such as disease stage, metastases, and patient survival. TGF-β, TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin expression was evaluated immunohistochemically in 195 unrelated CRC specimens and the results subjected to various statistical analyses. TGF-β was expressed in 71.28%, TGF-βR1 in 61.0%, TGF-βR2 in 54.4%, Smad4 in 61.5%, pSmad2/3 in 71.3%, and E-cadherin in 50.26% of the colorectal carcinoma samples tested. The correlation of immunoexpression with the clinicopathological parameters of CRC revealed that the high expression of TGF-β and low expression of TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin were correlated with tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage of disease. High TGF-β expression and low TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, Smad4, and pSmad2/3 expression were also correlated with lymph node metastasis. The Kaplan-Meier survival curves demonstrated a clear association of cancer-specific overall survival with high TGF-β, as well as low TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin expression. Our results suggest that TGF-β, TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin are closely related to TNM stage of CRC. Moreover, TGF-β, TGF-βR2, Smad4, pSmad2/3, and E-cadherin emerge as valuable independent biomarkers of prognosis in CRC patients.

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