Apoptosis or programmed cell death represents a mechanism by which cells possessing DNA damage can be deleted. The bcl-2 proto-oncogene is a known inhibitor of apoptosis that may allow the accumulation and propagation of cells containing genetic alterations. To determine if and when the bcl-2 gene is activated during colorectal tumorigenesis and its relationship to p53, we analyzed normal mucosa, hyperplastic and dys-plastic epithelial polyps, and carcinomas for the expression of these markers using immunohistocheniistry. Whereas bcl-2 staining was restricted to basal epithelial cells in normal and hyperplastic mucosa, bcl-2 expression was detected in parabasal and superficial regions in dysplastic polyps and carcinomas. An inverse correlation was found between bcl-2 and p53 expression in adenomas, suggesting that these markers may regulate a common cell death pathway. Furthermore, carcinomas with a high percentage of bcl-2-positive cells were significantly more likely to have low rates of spontaneous apoptosis, as determined histologically, than those cancers with low or absent bcl-2 expression. Abnormal activation of the bcl-2 gene appears to be an early event in colorectal tumorigenesis that can inhibit apoptosis in vivo and may facilitate tumor progression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jan 15 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research