Expression and functional significance of ezrin in human brain astrocytoma

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013;67(3):1507-11. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9653-1.


Ezrin is overexpressed in a variety of neoplastic cells and is involved in the later stages of tumor progression and metastasis. The present study investigated the expression and functional significance of ezrin in human brain astrocytoma. Ezrin expression was examined in specimens from healthy human brains (10 autopsies) or human astrocytoma (107 cases) by immunohistochemistry. All healthy specimens were negative for ezrin expression, while this expression was positive in a great majority of human astrocytoma tissues (96/107; 89.7%; p < 0.05 vs. healthy). Ezrin expression was positively correlated with tumor grade (r = 0.551, p < 0.01). Analysis of clinicopathologic data revealed that the post-operation disease-free survival times were significantly (p < 0.001) different between those with a strong positive ezrin expression and those with a weak or negative expression. Specifically, median DFS in patients with a strongly positive ezrin expression was 13 months (range 2-46 months), while it was significantly (p < 0.001) longer in patients with weakly positive or negative expression (median of 28 months, range 6-56 months). In conclusion, there is a strong association between ezrin expression and increased malignancy in astrocytoma. Thus, enhanced ezrin expression may play an important role in the development of astrocytoma. Our results further indicate that ezrin may be useful for grading of astrocytoma and as a molecular marker for the prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism*
  • Astrocytoma / mortality
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Child
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Young Adult


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • ezrin