There is growing evidence that cancer of the ascending (right-side) colon is different from cancer of the descending (left-side) colon at the molecular level. Using microarray data from 102 right-side colon carcinomas and 95 left-side colon carcinomas we show that different pathways dominate progression to relapse in right-side and left-side colon cancer. Right-side tumors at a high risk for relapse exhibit elevated expression of cell cycle control genes and elevated Wnt signaling. On the other hand, relapse-prone left-side tumors show elevated expression of genes that promote stromal expansion and reduced expression of tumor suppressor genes that initiate Wnt signaling. Single gene prognostic biomarkers are found separately for right-side and left-side disease. In left-side tumors with low expression levels of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) the 5-yr relapse-free survival probability is 0.89 95% CI (0.80-0.99), and in tumors with elevated NOX4 expression the probability is 0.51 95% CI (0.37-0.70). Right-side tumors with elevated expression levels of caudal type homeobox 2 (CDX2) have a 5-yr relapse-free survival probability of 0.88 95% CI (0.80-0.96), and those with low CDX2 expression have a corresponding probability of 0.39 95% CI (0.15-0.78). Both NOX4 and CDX2 are much less prognostic on the opposite sides. This newly identified role of NOX4 in colon cancer is further investigated using the SW620 lymph node metastasis colon adenocarcinoma cell line and RNA interference. We show that NOX4 is expressed in the SW620 cell line and that application of NOX4 siRNA causes a significant reduction in reactive oxidative species production.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.