KRT15 overexpression predicts poor prognosis in colorectal cancer

Neoplasma. 2020 Mar;67(2):410-414. doi: 10.4149/neo_2019_190531N475. Epub 2019 Dec 23.


Keratin-15 (KRT15) is a type I keratin lacking a defined type II partner and plays a key role in maintaining cytoplasmic stability. Recently, studies have reported that KRT15 was correlated with tumor formation and progression. However, the clinical significance of KRT15 in colorectal cancer is unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression of KRT15 and its clinical significance in colorectal cancer. KRT15 expression was examined in 98 cases of colorectal cancer and matched adjacent normal tissues by quantificational real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. Then, the clinical significance of KRT15 expression was evaluated in colorectal cancer. QRT-PCR results revealed that the mRNA levels of KRT15 in colorectal cancer tissues were significantly higher compared with those in normal tissues (p<0.0001). The rates of KRT15 high-expression in colorectal cancer and normal tissues were 57.1% and 8.9%, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.0001). KRT15 high-expression correlated with differentiation, T stage, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage in colorectal cancer (p<0.05). Meanwhile, KRT15 overexpression predicted poor prognosis and could be used as an independent prognostic factor. These data indicate KRT15 is highly expressed in colorectal cancer and may serve as a prognostic biomarker.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Keratin-15 / genetics*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • KRT15 protein, human
  • Keratin-15