Prognostic impact of Beclin 1, p62/sequestosome 1 and LC3 protein expression in colon carcinomas from patients receiving 5-fluorouracil as adjuvant chemotherapy

Jae Myung Park, Shengbing Huang, Tsung Teh Wu, Nathan R. Foster, Frank A. Sinicrope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autophagy is a cellular degradation process that can be activated in tumor cells to confer stress tolerance. During autophagy initiation and autophagosome formation, Beclin 1 binds microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain 3 (LC3I) that is converted to its membrane-bound form (LC3II ) and interacts with the ubiquitin-binding protein p62/ sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1). We determined the association of Beclin 1, LC3 and p62 protein expression with clinical outcome in resected stage II and III colon carcinomas (n = 178) from participants in 5-fluororuacil (5-FU)-based adjuvant therapy trials. The immunopercentage for each marker was determined and dichotomized for analysis with overall survival (OS) using Cox models. We found that autophagy markers localized to the tumor cell cytoplasm and showed increased expression relative to normal epithelial cells. Overexpression of Beclin 1, LC3 and p62 proteins were detected in 69, 79 and 85% of tumors, respectively. Expression levels were not significantly associated with clinicopathological variables. In a multivariable analysis adjusting for tumor grade, stage and patient age, Beclin 1 overexpression was independently associated with worse OS [hazard ratio (HR), 1.82; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0-3.3; p = 0.042] in patients who received 5-FU-based adjuvant therapy. Neither LC3 nor p62 overexpression was prognostic. In conclusion, Beclin 1 overexpression was associated with reduced survival in colon cancer patients treated with adjuvant 5-FU. These data are consistent with preclinical evidence indicating that autophagy can protect colon cancer cells from 5-FU and support the targeting of autophagy for therapeutic advantage in this malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Autophagy
  • Beclin 1
  • Colon cancer
  • LC3
  • P62/sequestosome 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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