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Neoplasia. 2003 Mar-Apr;5(2):121-7.

Reduced 15S-lipoxygenase-2 expression in esophageal cancer specimens and cells and upregulation in vitro by the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, NS398.

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Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Alterations in arachidonic acid metabolism are involved in human carcinogenesis. Cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) are key enzymes in this metabolism. We analyzed the expression of 15S-lipoxygenase-2 (15-LOX-2) mRNA and protein in surgical specimens from normal (N=37) and malignant (63) esophageal tissues using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry (IHC), and in normal (1), premalignant (1), and malignant (5) esophageal cell lines using Northern and Western blotting. 15-LOX-2 was expressed in normal esophageal epithelial cells (EECs) at the highest levels, whereas an SV40-immortalized HET-1A line and three of five esophageal cancer cell lines failed to express it at detectable levels. 15-LOX-2 was detected in 76% (28/37) of the normal esophageal mucosae, but only in 46% (29/63) of the cancer specimens using IHC (P<.01). Transient transfection of 15-LOX-2 expression vectors into esophageal cancer cells significantly inhibited the proliferation of 15-LOX-2-negative cancer cells. The COX-2 inhibitor, NS398, induced 15-LOX-2 expression in esophageal cancer cells, which is associated with reduced cell viability. This study demonstrated that 15-LOX-2 expression is lost in esophageal cancers and that the induction of 15-LOX-2 can inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Further investigation of the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on 15-LOX-2 expression and apoptosis in esophageal cancer cells may be warranted.

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