Aim: To investigate the expression of G protein-coupled receptor 31 (GPR31) and its clinical significance in human colorectal cancer (CRC).
Methods: To determine the association between the GPR31 expression and the prognosis of patients, we obtained paraffin-embedded pathological specimens from 466 CRC patients who underwent initial resection. A total of 321 patients from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University from January 1996 to December 2008 were included as a training cohort, whereas 145 patients from the Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University from January 2007 to November 2008 were included as a validation cohort. We examined GPR31 expression levels in CRC tissues from two independent cohorts via immunohistochemical staining. All patients were categorized into either a GPR31 low expression group or a GPR31 high expression group. The clinicopathological factors and the prognosis of patients in the GPR31 low expression group and GPR31 high expression group were compared.
Results: We compared the clinicopathological factors and the prognosis of patients in the GPR31 low expression group and GPR31 high expression group. Significant differences were observed in the number of patients in pM classification between patients in the GPR31 low expression group and GPR31 high expression group (P = 0.007). The five-year survival and tumor-free survival rates of patients were 84.3% and 82.2% in the GPR31 low expression group, respectively, and both rates were 59.7% in the GPR31 high expression group (P < 0.05). Results of the Cox proportional hazard regression model revealed that GPR31 upregulation was associated with shorter overall survival and tumor-free survival of patients with CRC (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis identified GPR31 expression in colorectal cancer as an independent predictive factor of CRC patient survival (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: High GPR31 expression levels were found to be correlated with pM classification of CRC and to serve as an independent predictive factor of poor survival of CRC patients.
Keywords: Clinical significance; Colorectal cancer; G protein-coupled receptor 31; Metastasis; Predictive factor.