Chromosome 18q deletion and Smad4 protein inactivation correlate with liver metastasis: A study matched for T- and N- classification

Br J Cancer. 2006 Dec 4;95(11):1562-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603460. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


Smad4 protein, whose gene is coded at chromosome 18q21.1, is an important tumour suppressor that mediates transforming growth factor-beta. It has been reported that inactivation of the Smad4 gene and allelic loss of chromosome 18q correlate with liver metastasis and poorer prognosis in colorectal cancers. Utilising a recently developed method of immunohistochemical staining for Smad4 protein, we focused on the specific impact of Smad4 protein expression on liver metastasis in colorectal cancer. We also evaluated the association between chromosome18q deletion and liver metastasis. We selected 20 colorectal cancers with liver metastasis for the experimental group, and 20 cases without liver metastasis for the control. In order to exclude the influence of lymph node metastasis, all cases were lymph node negative. In addition, the two groups were matched for tumour depth, tumour differentiation and tumour location. We compared the expression level of Smad4 protein immunohistochemically in these 20 matched pairs. We also compared the loss of heterozygosity status at chromosome 18q in these 20 matched pairs. Immunohistochemical staining revealed a significant difference (P = 0.024) in the level of Smad4 protein between the two groups. We also observed a significantly different (P=0.0054) ratio of allelic deletion at chromosome 18q21. Smad4 protein expression level and allelic loss at 18q21 are associated with the process of liver metastasis in colorectal cancers evaluated when excluding clinical and pathological features except for liver metastasis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18 / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Smad4 Protein / biosynthesis*


  • SMAD4 protein, human
  • Smad4 Protein