Aim: To examine the expression of Egr-1, c-fos and cyclin D1 at both transcript and protein levels in esophageal carcinoma and to correlate the level of their expressions with precancerous and paracancerous esophageal lesions and esophageal carcinoma.
Methods: In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used respectively to detect the expression of mRNA and proteins of Egr-1, c-fos and cyclin D1 in 70 cases of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and their corresponding para-cancerous mucosa and upper cut edge mucosa.
Results: In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry showed positive staining of all three mRNAs in the cytoplasm and those of the proteins in nuclei. Overexpression of Egr-1, c-fos and cyclin D1 mRNAs and their proteins was found in dysplasia and squamous carcinomas. The expression level of Egr-1 and c-fos was high, and cyclin D1 was low in dysplasia mucosa, whereas the expression of Egr-1 was decreased, c-fos was maintained and cyclin D1 was increased in the cancers. The expression of both c-fos and cyclinD1 was consistent between the mRNA and protein in their corresponding high expression lesions.
Conclusion: The expression of Egr-1, c-fos and cyclin D1 varies in esophageal precancerous lesions and cancer tissues, suggesting an involvement of these genes in the development of esophageal carcinoma.