Nuclear, compared with combined nuclear and cytoplasmic expression of maspin, is linked in lung adenocarcinoma to reduced VEGF-A levels and in Stage I, improved survival

Histopathology. 2009 Apr;54(5):590-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2009.03260.x. Epub 2009 Mar 20.


Aims: To evaluate whether there is a correlation between the subcellular localization of maspin and the histological, molecular and biological features of pulmonary adenocarcinoma, particularly addressing the hypothesis that the tumour inhibitor properties of maspin may be linked to a nuclear, compared with a combined nuclear and cytoplasmic expression pattern.

Methods and results: The subcellular expression of maspin was determined in 80 resected pulmonary adenocarcinomas (Stage I, 46; Stage II, 10; Stage III, 20; Stage IV, 4) and correlated with histological grade, proliferative rate, p53 expression, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A levels, and prognosis (mean follow-up of 41.5 months). Cases with nuclear (N) maspin (n = 47), compared with the [N + cytoplasmic (C)] group (n = 28), showed lower (P <or= 0.05): histological grade, proliferative rate, p53 expression and VEGF-A levels. Cox multivariate analysis revealed in stage I adenocarcinomas (N) maspin as the only predictor of improved survival.

Conclusions: (N) maspin selects lung adenocarcinomas with distinct molecular and clinical features, supporting the hypothesis that its tumour inhibitor properties may be linked to its nuclear localization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Serpins / biosynthesis*
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • Serpins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A