1. Department of Pathology, Cancer Research Institute, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea;
2. Department of Pathology and Medical Science, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea;
3. Department of Surgery, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Background: Protein kinase C zeta/lambda (PKCζ/λ) is a family of protein kinase enzymes that contributes to cell proliferation and regulation, which are important for cancer development. PKCζ/λ has been shown to be an important regulator of tumorigenesis in intestinal cancer. The phosphorylated form of PKCζ/λ, p-PKCζ/λ, is suggested as an active form of PKCζ/λ. However, p-PKCζ/λ expression and its clinicopathologic implication in colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRAC) are unclear.
Methods: Seven whole-tissue sections of malignant polyps containing both non-neoplastic and neoplastic mucosa, 11 adenomas with low-grade dysplasia, and 173 CRACs were examined by immunohistochemistry and western blot assay for p-PKCζ/λ protein expression. The association of p-PKCζ/λ expression with clinicopathologic factors including patient survival was studied.
Results: In non-neoplastic epithelia, p-PKCζ/λ showed a weak cytoplasmic immunostaining. Adenomas and CRACs demonstrated up-regulated p-PKCζ/λ detection. Cytoplasmic p-PKCζ/λ expression was higher in CRAC than in adenoma. In CRACs, p-PKCζ/λ expression was inversely correlated with pathologic TNM stage (I-II versus III-IV) and poor differentiation. Statistical correlations between low expression of p-PKCζ/λ with shortened overall survival and disease-free survival were seen (p=0.004 and p=0.034, respectively).
Conclusions: P-PKCζ/λ overexpression is implicated in tumorigenesis but down-regulation was a poor prognostic factor in CRAC.
Keywords: Protein kinase C zeta, protein kinase C lambda, colorectal adenocarcinoma.