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Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 15;12(8):2449-54.

Coexpression of actin-related protein 2 and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome family verproline-homologous protein 2 in adenocarcinoma of the lung.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.



Highly invasive and metastatic cancer cells, such as adenocarcinoma of the lung cells, form irregular protrusions by assembling a branched network of actin filaments. In mammalian cells, the actin-related protein 2 and 3 (Arp2/3) complex initiates actin assembly to form lamellipodial protrusions by binding to Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WASP)/WASP family verproline-homologous protein 2 (WAVE2). In this study, colocalization of Arp2 and WAVE2 in adenocarcinoma of the lung was investigated to elucidate its prognostic value.


Immunohistochemical staining of Arp2 and WAVE2 was done on mirror sections of 115 adenocarcinomas of the lung from pathologic stage IA to IIIA classes. Kaplan-Meier disease-free survival and overall survival curves were analyzed to determine the prognostic significance of the coexpression of Arp2 and WAVE2.


Immunoreactivity for both Arp2 and WAVE2 was detected in the same cancer cells in 78 (67.8%) of the 115 lung cancer specimens. The proportion of cancer cells expressing both Arp2 and WAVE2 was significantly higher in cases with lymph-node metastasis (P = 0.0046), and significantly lower in bronchioloalveolar carcinomas (P < 0.0001). The patients whose cancer cells coexpressed them had a shorter disease-free survival time (P < 0.0001) and overall survival time (P < 0.0001). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that coexpression of Arp2 and WAVE2 is an independent risk factor for tumor recurrence.


Coexpression of Arp2 and WAVE2 is correlated with poorer patient outcome, and may be involved in the mechanism of cancer metastasis.

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