The expression of beclin 1 is associated with favorable prognosis in stage IIIB colon cancers

Autophagy. 2009 Apr;5(3):303-6. doi: 10.4161/auto.5.3.7491. Epub 2009 Apr 26.


Beclin 1 is a key modulator bridging autophagy, apoptosis and differentiation. This study investigated the expression of beclin 1 in human colon cancers and its association with clinicopathological characteristics. A total of 115 cases of cancer tissues with intact follow-up data were obtained from colon cancer patients with stage IIIB. The expression of beclin 1 in cancer nest and adjacent normal tissue was examined with immunohistochemistry. The results showed the immunostaining of beclin 1 was distributed in plasma-membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus in tumor cells, which occurred in 98 cases (85.2%) of the 115 patients. No or modest beclin 1 expression was observed in adjacent noncancerous tissues. The higher level of beclin 1 expression strongly associated with longer survival. Both univariate analysis and multivariate analysis showed that the beclin 1 expression and invasive depth of primary mass (T stage) were independent prognostic factors. Additionally, there was no significant correlation of beclin 1 expression with clinicopathological characteristics, such as sex, age, site of primary mass, pathological classification, grade and invasive depth with the nonparametric correlation Kendall's tau-b test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Beclin-1
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BECN1 protein, human
  • Beclin-1
  • Membrane Proteins