Background: Evidence indicates that most cases of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) develop from adenoma. A previous study demonstrated that mitochondrial Tu translation elongation factor (TUFM) might serve as an independent prognostic factor for colorectal cancer. However, the expression and function of TUFM in the normal-adenoma-cancer sequence have not been reported. In this study, we investigated the clinicopathologic significance of TUFM and p53 expression for the normal-adenoma-carcinoma sequence in colorectal epithelia and evaluated the roles of TUFM during the progression of colorectal tumors.
Methods: Paraffin-embedded specimens from 261 colorectal normal mucosa samples, 157 adenomas, and 104 early carcinomas were analyzed for TUFM and p53 expression by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Expression of TUFM and p53 was significantly increased during the colorectal normal-adenoma-carcinoma sequence (all P < 0.05). The expression of TUFM and p53 was associated with histologic type of adenomas (P = 0.028; P = 0.001) and grade of dysplasia (all P = 0.001). Expression of TUFM was positively correlated with that of p53 (r = 0.319, P = 0.001).
Conclusions: Upregulated TUFM expression may play an important role in the transformation from colorectal normal mucosa to carcinoma through adenoma. Combined immunohistochemical detection of TUFM and p53 may be useful for evaluating the biological behavior of colorectal adenoma.
Keywords: Colorectal adenoma; Colorectal carcinoma; TUFM; p53.