Two members of the S100 gene family, S100A6 and S100A4 have been suggested to be associated with cancer invasion and metastasis. To study their involvement in the malignancy of human colorectal adenocarcinoma, we examined the protein expression levels of S100A6 and S100A4 in the primary colorectal adenocarcinoma (T) and paired adjacent normal colorectal mucosa (N) from 12 cases, quantitatively by Western blot analysis. In 11 of 12 and seven of 12 cases, S100A6 and S100A4 expression levels were higher in T than in N, respectively. Average S100A6 level in T was significantly higher than in N (about x 2.3;P = 0.001), whereas average S100A4 level in T was not. When S100A6 expression levels in three sets of matched samples of primary colorectal adenocarcinoma (T) and liver metastasis (M) were examined, S100A6 levels were higher in M than in T in two of three cases. Immunohistochemical analysis using monoclonal anti-S100A6 antibody showed that 23 of 42 (55%) primary colorectal adenocarcinoma and 15 of 16 (94%) liver metastasis specimens were positively stained. S100A6 immunostaining of primary colorectal adenocarcinomas was significantly more intense in the invading fronts with structural atypia than in central portions with glandular structure (P< 0.0001), whereas Ki-67 staining (a growth marker) was similar in these two portions. Interestingly, S100A6 and Ki-67 immunostaining patterns in liver metastases were also the same as in primary lesions. These results suggest that S100A6 is involved in the invasive process of human colorectal adenocarcinomas and that S100A6 expression levels decrease when carcinoma cells form glandular structure again at the central portions of metastatic nodules.
Copyright 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.