Expression and clinicopathological significance of EED, SUZ12 and EZH2 mRNA in colorectal cancer

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2015 Apr;141(4):661-9. doi: 10.1007/s00432-014-1854-5. Epub 2014 Oct 19.


Background and objectives: Enhancer of zeste 2 (EZH2), embryonic ectoderm development (EED), and suppressor of zeste 12 homolog (SUZ12), the key component of polycomb repressive complex 2, are of great importance in human cancer pathogenesis. This study was designed to investigate the clinical and prognostic significances of EZH2, EED and SUZ12 in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients.

Methods: The expression of EZH2, EED and SUZ12 mRNA was evaluated in 82 primary CRC and paired non-cancerous mucosa samples by qRT-PCR.

Results: We found that overall EZH2, EED and SUZ12 mRNA expression in the CRC tissues was significantly increased than in the non-cancerous tissue (p < 0.05). Increased EZH2, EED and SUZ12 mRNA expression was directly correlated with primary tumor size, regional lymph node metastases, distant metastasis and AJCC stage. Furthermore, CRC patients with higher level of EED, SUZ12 or EZH2 showed a worse disease-free survival (DFS) (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, the increased EZH2 expression may be a risk factor for the patients' 3-year DFS (HR 2.517; 95% CI 1.104, 5.736; p = 0.028). Furthermore, the k-means cluster analysis showed that high mRNA expression of EED, SUZ12 and EZH2 was significantly correlated with the aggressive clinical behavior and poor prognosis.

Conclusions: High expression of EED, SUZ12 and EZH2 might contribute to the CRC development/progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / genetics*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • EED protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SUZ12 protein, human
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2