The human leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains 2 (LRIG2) protein has been shown to be of prognostic value in several types of human cancer, however, the expression profiles of LRIG2 have not been described in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The present study evaluated the mRNA expression of LRIG2 in tumor specimens obtained from 39 NSCLC patients by SYBR Green quantitative polymerase chain reaction and the protein expression of LRIG2 in formalin-fixed paraffin sections obtained from 116 NSCLC patients by immunohistochemistry. The correlations between LRIG2 expression and clinicopathological data were analyzed. The patient survival data were collected retrospectively and the possible prognostic value of LRIG2 protein expression was investigated. The results showed that the mRNA expression of LRIG2 was decreased in NSCLC cancer tissues, which was associated with histological subtypes and tumor differentiation status. The protein expression of LRIG2 was only observed in the cytoplasm of the tumor tissue, which conformed to the mRNA expression results. Furthermore, the patients with high LRIG2 cytoplasmic expression showed poor survival times, and the five-year survival rate for patients with high LRIG2 expression was 27.8%, compared with 38.8% for patients with low expression (P=0.034), indicating that LRIG2 expression levels may have a potential role in the pathogenesis of NSCLC, and also a significant prognostic value. Further studies are required to fully elucidate the exact function of LRIG2 in NSCLC.
Keywords: immunohistochemistry; leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains 2; non-small cell lung cancer; real-time polymerase chain reaction.