Immunohistochemical Analysis of ATRX, IDH1 and p53 in Glioblastoma and Their Correlations with Patient Survival

J Korean Med Sci. 2016 Aug;31(8):1208-14. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.8.1208. Epub 2016 May 30.


Glioblastoma (GBM) can be classified into molecular subgroups, on the basis of biomarker expression. Here, we classified our cohort of 163 adult GBMs into molecular subgroups according to the expression of proteins encoded by genes of alpha thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and TP53. We focused on the survival rate of molecular subgroups, depending on each and various combination of these biomarkers. ATRX, IDH1 and p53 protein expression were evaluated immunohistochemically and Kaplan-Meier analysis were carried out in each group. A total of 15.3% of enrolled GBMs demonstrated loss of ATRX expression (ATRX-), 10.4% expressed an aberrant IDH1 R132H protein (IDH1+), and 48.4% exhibited p53 overexpression (p53+). Survival differences were statistically significant when single protein expression or different combinations of expression of these proteins were analyzed. In conclusion, in the case of single protein expression, the patients with each IDH1+, or ATRX-, or p53- GBMs showed better survival than patients with counterparts protein expressed GBMs. In the case of double protein pairs, the patients with ATRX-/p53-, ATRX-/IDH1+, and IDH1+/p53- GBMs revealed better survival than the patients with GBMs with the remained pairs. In the case of triple protein combinations, the patients with ATRX-/p53-/IDH+ showed statistically significant survival gain than the patients with remained combination of proteins-expression status. Therefore, these three biomarkers, individually and as a combination, can stratify GBMs into prognostically relevant subgroups and have strong prognostic values in adult GBMs.

Keywords: ATRX; Glioblastoma; Isocitrate Dehydrogenase; Mutation; Overall Survival; Progression Free Survival; p53.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Glioblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • DNA Helicases
  • ATRX protein, human
  • X-linked Nuclear Protein