Cytosolic levels of neuron-specific enolase in squamous cell carcinomas of the lung.

To study the behavior and possible correlations of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) with other clinicobiological parameters, we measured the cytosolic levels of this marker by means of an immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) in 95 squamous cell lung carcinoma samples. We also analyzed the levels of pS2, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), hyaluronic acid (HA), free beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-HCG), CYFRA 21.1 and CA 125 in cytosol. On the cell surface we analyzed the concentrations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HA, erbB-2 oncoprotein, CD44s, CD44v5 and CD44v6. Other parameters considered were clinical stage, lymph node involvement, histological grade (HG), ploidy and the cellular S-phase fraction measured by flow cytometry on nuclei obtained from fresh tissues. In the 95 squamous cell carcinomas the cytosolic levels of NSE varied from 4.5 to 2235 ng/mg protein (median: 267) and were significantly higher (p < 0.001) than those observed in 38 samples of normal pulmonary tissue obtained from the same patients (range: 56-657; median: 141.5). When classifying tumors according to the different parameters analyzed, we observed that the levels of NSE were higher in aneuploid than in diploid cases (p = 0.046) and in those that were HG3 than in those that were HG2 (p < 0.001). Tumors with high NSE levels (> 422 ng/mg protein; 75th percentile) were more likely to have high S-phase values (p = 0.012) and were more frequently aneuploid (p = 0.038) and HG3 (p < 0.001) than those with low levels of NSE (< 180 ng/mg protein; 25th percentile). These results lead us to the following conclusions: 1) the cytosolic concentrations of NSE are significantly higher in squamous cell carcinomas than in healthy pulmonary tissue, and 2) the cytosolic concentrations of NSE are not correlated with clinical stage or nodal involvement. However, in our study higher levels of the enzyme were statistically correlated with aneuploidy, histological grade 3 and S-phase. This may explain its association with poorer outcome and progression, but also the more favorable response of tumors with elevated NSE to chemotherapy, as suggested by other groups.
AuthorsA Ruibal, M I Nuñez, J Rodríguez, L Jiménez, M C del Rio, J Zapatero
JournalThe International journal of biological markers (Int J Biol Markers) 2003 Jul-Sep Vol. 18 Issue 3 Pg. 188-94 ISSN: 0393-6155 [Print] Italy
PMID14535589 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antigens, CD44
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-125 Antigen
  • CD44S antigen
  • CD44v5 antigen
  • CD44v6 antigen
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Glycoproteins
  • Keratin-19
  • antigen CYFRA21.1
  • Keratins
  • Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneuploidy
  • Antigens, CD44 (biosynthesis)
  • Antigens, Neoplasm (biosynthesis)
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-125 Antigen (biosynthesis)
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell (enzymology)
  • Cell Nucleus (metabolism)
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human (metabolism)
  • Cytosol (metabolism)
  • Diploidy
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycoproteins (biosynthesis)
  • Humans
  • Keratin-19
  • Keratins
  • Lung (enzymology)
  • Lung Neoplasms (enzymology)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase (biosynthesis)
  • Ploidies
  • Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor (metabolism)
  • S Phase

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