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. 2013 Feb;94(1):301-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.10.006. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Metallothionein 1F and 2A Overexpression Predicts Poor Outcome of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients


Metallothionein 1F and 2A Overexpression Predicts Poor Outcome of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Bozena Werynska et al. Exp Mol Pathol. .


Metallothioneins (MT) are intracellular, low molecular weight proteins (6-7 kDa) involved in binding of metal ions, scavenging of free radicals, cell proliferation and apoptosis and resistance to certain chemotherapeutics. Four basic families of MT proteins are distinguished: MT-I, MT-II, MT-III, MT-IV, within each of them different isoforms occur. The study aimed at examining the expression level of nine MT isoforms: MT-1A, -1B, -1E, -1F, -1G, -1H, -1X, MT-2A and MT-IV by using real-time PCR and MT-I/II expression by immunohistochemical (IHC) technique in 69 cases of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 12 non-malignant lung tissues (NMLT) and to correlate them with patients clinicopathological data and Ki-67 antigen expression. Out of all the analyzed cases, 62 (89.9%) demonstrated an increased MT-I/II expression. MT-1B, 1F, -1G, -1H and MT-1X were significantly up-regulated, whereas MT-1E was significantly down-regulated in NSCLC as compared to NMLT. Only in two cases MT-IV mRNA expression was noted. Significant positive correlations were observed between each particular MT isoform expressions. Higher MT-1F and MT-1A mRNA expression was associated with larger primary tumor size (P=0.0362 and P<0.0001, respectively). Moreover, up-regulated MT-1F mRNA expression was associated with higher grade of malignancy of NSCLC (P=0.0085). Higher MT-1B mRNA expression was associated with squamocellular and adenocarcinoma subtype of NSCLC (P=0.0358). Univariate analysis showed, that up-regulated MT-1F and MT-2A mRNA predicted poor patients' survival (P=0.0206 and P=0.0097, respectively). The levels of MT-1F and MT-2A mRNA could be considered as new markers of poor prognosis of NSCLC patients.

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