Connexin 26 correlates with Bcl-xL and Bax proteins expression in colorectal cancer

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Mar 14;11(10):1544-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i10.1544.


Aim: To evaluate of Cx26 in correlation with Bcl-xL and Bax proteins in colorectal cancer.

Methods: Immunohistochemical staining using specific antibodies was performed to evaluate the protein expression of Cx26, Bax and Bcl-xL in 152 colorectal cancer samples and the correlations among studied proteins as well as the relationships between the expression of Cx26, Bax, Bcl-xL and clinicopathological features were analyzed.

Results: Both normal epithelial cells and carcinoma cells expressed Cx26, Bax and Bcl-xL, but Cx26 in cancer cells showed aberrant, mainly cytoplasmic staining. Expression of Cx26, Bax and Bcl-xL was observed in 55.9%, 55.5% and 72.4% of evaluated colorectal cancers respectively. We found the positive correlation between Cx26 and Bax expression (r = 0.561, P<0.0001), Cx26 and Bcl-xL (r = 0.409, P<0.0001) as well as between Bax and Bcl-xL (r = 0.486, P<0.0001). Association of Cx26, Bax and Bcl-xL expression with histological G2 grade of tumors was noted (P<0.005, P<0.001 and P<0.002 respectively).

Conclusion: Cytoplasmic presence of Cx26 and its association with apoptotic markers could indicate a distinct role from physiological functions of Cx26 in cancer cells and it could suggest that connexins might be a target point for modulations of apoptosis with therapeutic implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Connexin 26
  • Connexins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • bcl-X Protein


  • BAX protein, human
  • BCL2L1 protein, human
  • Connexins
  • GJB2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Connexin 26