Clinical significance of elevated spleen tyrosine kinase expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Head Neck. 2012 Oct;34(10):1456-64. doi: 10.1002/hed.21953. Epub 2012 Jan 27.


Background: Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase and often aberrantly expressed in human cancers. However, Syk expression pattern has not yet been investigated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Methods: Samples of 223 NPC tissues were immunohistochemically stained for Syk expression and survival analysis was then performed. Interaction and co-localization of Syk with Epstein-Barr virus encoded latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) was explored.

Results: High expression of Syk was detected in 24% of NPC cases, and correlated significantly with T classification, local recurrence, a lower 5-year survival rate, and a lower 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate. Syk expression was a significant, independent prognosis predictor for patients with NPC. LMP2A induced Syk expression in NPC and LMP2A high expression correlated with Syk high expression in NPC clinical samples.

Conclusion: High expression of Syk, which results partly from LMP2A expression in NPC, is associated with tumor recurrence and poor prognosis of patients with NPC.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Syk Kinase
  • Tissue Embedding
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism*


  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • SYK protein, human
  • Syk Kinase