Background: Optimal treatment decisions for cancer patients require reliable prognostic and predictive information. However, this information is inadequate in many cases. Several recent studies suggest that the leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains (LRIG) genes, transcripts, and proteins have prognostic implications in various cancer types.
Material and methods: Relevant literature was identified on PubMed using the key words lrig1, lrig2, and lrig3. LRIG mRNA expression in cancer versus normal tissues was investigated using the Oncomine database.
Results: The three human LRIG genes, LRIG1, LRIG2, and LRIG3, encode single-pass transmembrane proteins. LRIG1 is a negative regulator of growth factor signaling that has been shown to function as a tumor suppressor in vitro and in vivo in mice. The functions of LRIG2 and LRIG3 are less well defined. LRIG gene and protein expression are commonly dysregulated in human cancer. In early stage breast cancer, LRIG1 copy number was recently shown to predict early and late relapse in addition to overall survival; in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, loss of LRIG1 is also associated with poor survival. LRIG gene and protein expression have prognostic value in breast cancer, uterine cervical cancer, head-and-neck cancer, glioma, non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. In general, expression of LRIG1 and LRIG3 is associated with good survival, whereas expression of LRIG2 is associated with poor survival. Additionally, LRIG1 regulates cellular sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs, which indicates a possible role as a predictive marker.
Conclusions: LRIG gene statuses and mRNA and protein expression are clinically relevant prognostic indicators in several types of human cancer. We propose that LRIG analyses could become important when making informed and individualized clinical decisions regarding the management of cancer patients.