Immunostaining of Increased Expression of Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) in Diffuse Midline Glioma H3K27M-Mutant Patients with Poor Survival

Vega Karlowee, Vishwa Jeet Amatya, Takeshi Takayasu, Motoki Takano, Ushio Yonezawa, Yukio Takeshima, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Kaoru Kurisu, Fumiyuki Yamasaki
Pathobiology: Journal of Immunopathology, Molecular and Cellular Biology 2019, 86 (2-3): 152-161

INTRODUCTION: The interaction of K27M mutation in histone H3 (H3K27M mutation) with polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is facilitated by the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2). Subsequently, this interaction leads to the global reduction level of H3K27me3. We analyzed the EZH2 expression level in H3K27M mutation-positive tumors and revealed the association of high EZH2 expression with poor survival.

METHODS: Our study included 12 patients, with an age range of 6-56 years and treated between 2007 and 2016. All patients underwent MRI study for nonenhanced T1, T2, diffusion, gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted imaging, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR). Immunohistochemical staining was performed against H3K27M, H3K27me3, EZH2, EED, mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), α-thalassemia X-linked intellectual disability (ATRX), p53, O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), and Ki-67 antibodies.

RESULTS: All patients were negative for IDH1R132H and H3K27me3, but H3K27M-positive. Staining against EZH2 was negative in all histological features of grade II cases (3/12) and positive in grade III and IV cases; EZH2 positivity is associated with poor prognosis (p = 0.0082). EZH2 positivity was not associated with EED positivity. Retained ATRX staining was found mostly in grade III and IV cases (6/12). P53 was predominantly positive in cases of astrocytoma and glioblastoma (8/12). The labeling index of Ki-67 was 1.2-31.4% for grade II and III histological features and 11.2-24.8% for grade IV.

CONCLUSION: We suggest that the expression of EZH2 is not associated with the PRC2 pathway and increases in patients with H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma and a poor prognosis. Further studies are necessary to understand the mechanism involved.

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