Expression and epigenetic regulation of cystatin B in lung cancer and colorectal cancer

Pathol Res Pract. 2017 Dec;213(12):1568-1574. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2017.06.007. Epub 2017 Jun 6.


Aims: Dysregulated expression of cystatin B (CSTB) has been implicated in various cancers. The aims of this study were to analyze the CSTB expression and investigate the epigenetic regulation of CSTB in lung and colon cancer cell lines, and also evaluate the clinical outcome of CSTB in primary lung and colorectal tumors.

Methods: CSTB expression in lung and colon cancer cell lines was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR and western blotting. Epigenetic regulation of CSTB was examined by demethylation, deacetylation tests and bisulfite sequencing (BS). In primary lung and colorectal tumors, the protein expression of CSTB was evaluated by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarray.

Results: CSTB was downregulated in lung cancer cell lines on mRNA and protein levels compared to human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC). In colon cancer cell lines, CSTB was weakly expressed in Caco2, CX2 and HCT-16 and highly expressed in HT-29, WiDr, SW480 and HRT-18 on mRNA level compared to normal colonic fibroblast cells CCD33Co. After treatment with demethylation agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, increased CSTB mRNA expression was found in 7 out of 11 lung cancer cell lines including H226, H157, H2170, H1299, COLO677, A549 and H1975, while no obvious alteration was found in colon cancer cell lines. No DNA methylation could be found in the selected CpG islands in two types of cancer cell lines by bisulfite sequencing. In primary tumors, CSTB expression was significantly and inversely correlated with lung tumor stage (pN) and tumor grade (p=0.022 and 0.047, respectively). Kaplan-Meier survival curve revealed a tendency that lung tumors with high CSTB expression had a more favourable prognosis (p=0.062). In colorectal tumors, CSTB was not linked to any clinicopathological parameters including age, size of tumor, lymph node metastasis and tumor grading.

Conclusions: CSTB might be a potential prognostic marker for patients with primary lung cancer.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Cystatin B; DNA methylation; Lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cystatin B / genetics*
  • Cystatin B / metabolism*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Transcription Factors
  • Cystatin B