The POU5F1 gene expression in colorectal cancer: a novel prognostic marker

Surg Today. 2018 Jul;48(7):709-715. doi: 10.1007/s00595-018-1644-9. Epub 2018 Feb 27.


Purpose: The POU5F1 gene, which encodes the POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1 (also known as Oct-4), is expressed in embryonic stem cells where it regulates pluripotency and proliferation. Few studies have examined the expression and significance of POU5F1 in cancer tissues. The aim of this study was to clarify its significance in colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: The study included 95 patients who underwent surgery for CRC from 2009 to 2011. The correlations between the POU5F1 gene expression and the clinical parameters were assessed in these patients. The serum TP53 expression levels were also examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Patients with a high POU5F1 expression were significantly more likely to have a poor prognosis than those with a low expression. In contrast, patients with a low POU5F1 expression had a better disease-free survival after curative surgical resection than those with a high expression (P = 0.007). Multivariate analyses showed that the POU5F1 expression (P = 0.003) and lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001) were significantly correlated with the disease-free survival. The prognosis was significantly related to the serum TP53 levels, according to the POU5F1 expression.

Conclusion: The POU5F1 expression was suggested to be a prognostic factor in patients with CRC.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Metastasis; POU5F1; Prognosis; TP53.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gene Expression*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / blood


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • POU5F1 protein, human
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53