OCT4 expression in human non-small cell lung cancer: implications for therapeutic intervention

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2009 Apr;8(4):393-7. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2008.193995. Epub 2009 Jan 5.


Here we investigate the expression of OCT4 human lung adenocarcinoma and bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) tumor biopsies and tumor-derived primary cell cultures. OCT4 has been detected in several human tumors suggesting a potentially critical role in tumorigenesis. We assessed the presence of OCT4 in clinical tumor samples of both adenocarcinoma and BAC at the cellular and transcriptional levels, respectively. Furthermore, we evaluated tumor-derived cell cultures for potential differences in OCT4 expression. Immunohistochemical analysis depicted OCT4 in 2 of 8 adenocarcinoma tumor samples and 3 of 5 BAC tumor samples, with no apparent difference in the degree of expression among the sections examined. These results were validated by transcript analysis. Flow cytometric assessment of 11 adenocarcinoma-derived cell cultures and 3 BAC-derived cell cultures revealed significantly higher OCT4 expression in adenocarcinoma tumors compared to their normal counterparts. This, however, was not observed in the BAC cultures. Comparative studies of OCT4 in adenocarcinoma and BAC tumor cell cultures demonstrated a dramatically higher expression in the former. The expression of OCT4 may represent a specific and effective target for therapeutic intervention in adenocarcinoma and BAC. In addition, the aberrant expression and distribution of OCT4 may indicate important parameters concerning the differences between adenocarcinoma and BAC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar / therapy
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • POU5F1 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger