BCL-2 expression in human colorectal adenomas and carcinomas

Oncogene. 1994 Nov;9(11):3367-70.


As BCL-2 oncoprotein has been implicated as a survival factor in a number of tissues, we examined colorectal tumour specimens and cell lines for BCL-2 expression. BCL-2 protein was expressed in 19/22 adenocarcinomas and 12/13 adenomas. 6/9 carcinoma cell lines and 7/8 adenoma cell lines were also BCL-2 positive. BCL-2 expression was retained in metastases to the regional lymph nodes (3/3 specimens) and in the cell line SW620, derived from a lymph node metastasis. These studies suggest a role for BCL-2 in promoting cell survival of benign and malignant colorectal tumours and that BCL-2 deregulation may be a relatively early event in colorectal carcinogenesis. The retention of BCL-2 expression in the carcinomas and lymph node metastases may explain the resistance of colorectal tumours to chemotherapeutic treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / genetics
  • Mice
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2