Expression levels of the EZH2 polycomb transcriptional repressor correlate with aggressiveness and invasive potential of bladder carcinomas

Int J Mol Med. 2005 Aug;16(2):349-53.


The polycomb group protein enhancer of zeste 2 (EZH2) is a transcriptional repressor involved in the control of cellular proliferation and oncogenesis. The aim of the present study was to quantify EZH2 expression in bladder carcinomas and to correlate the data with clinicopathological findings. EZH2 mRNA expression was measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in tumor tissue specimens obtained from 37 patients with urothelial carcinomas of the bladder and in four bladder cancer cell lines. EZH2 levels were normalized to expression of the housekeeping porphobilinogen deaminase gene. EZH2 transcripts were commonly detected in tumor tissue. Transcript levels correlated significantly with the invasiveness of bladder tumors (p = 0.029) with elevated EZH2 mRNA expression measured in invasive bladder carcinomas (median value, 38.92) compared with non-invasive tumors (15.51). In addition, levels of expression were significantly higher in high-grade (G3) than in low-grade (G1/2) lesions (p < 0.001). EZH2 mRNA levels in bladder carcinoma cell lines were within the range of high-grade invasive bladder cancers. In conclusion, expression levels of EZH2 are elevated in aggressive and invasive urothelial carcinomas, suggesting that deregulated EZH2 expression may be involved in the progression of bladder tumors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2